you have given us your Son Jesus
that we may relive with him and like him
his passion and his resurrection.Through Jesus, give us the courage
to place ourselves into your hands
in the trials of life and in death,
that one day we may see your glory
and at your right hand your Son Jesus Christ,
who lives with you for ever.
Jesus answered them: In all truth I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread; for the bread of God is the bread which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
‘Sir,’ they said, ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered them: I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever hunger; no one who believes in me will ever thirst.
• John 6, 30-33: What sign will you yourself do, the sign which will make us believe in you? People had asked: What should we do to carry out the work of God? Jesus responds: “The work of God is to believe in the one who has sent”, that is to believe in Jesus. This is why people formulate the new question: “Which sign do you do so that we can see and can believe? Which work do you do?” This means that they did not understand the multiplication of the loaves as a sign from God to legitimize Jesus before the people, as the one sent by God! They continue to argue: In the past our fathers ate the manna which Moses gave them! They called it “bread from Heaven” (Ws 16, 20), that is, “bread of God”. Moses continues to be the great leader in whom to believe. If Jesus wants the people to believe in him, he should work a greater sign than Moses. “What work do you do?”
• Jesus responds that the bread given by Moses was not the true bread from heaven. Coming from on high, yes, but it was not the bread of God, because it did not guarantee life to any one. All of them died in the desert (Jn 6, 49). The true bread of heaven, the bread of God, is the one which conquers death and gives life! It is the one which descends from Heaven and gives life to the world. It is Jesus himself! Jesus tries to help the people to liberate themselves from the way of thinking of the past. For him, fidelity to the past does not mean to close up oneself in the ancient things and not accept renewal. Fidelity to the past means to accept the novelty which comes as the fruit of the seed which was planted in the past.
• John 6, 34-35: Lord, gives us always of that bread! Jesus answers clearly: “I am the bread of life!” To eat the bread of heaven is the same as to believe in Jesus and accept to follow the road that he teaches us, that is: “My food is to do the will of the one who has sent me and to complete his work!” (Jn 4, 34). This is the true food which nourishes the person, which transforms life and gives new life. This last verse of today’s Gospel (Jn 6, 35) will be taken back as the first verse of tomorrow’s Gospel (Jn 6, 35-40)
• Jesus says: “I am the bread of life”. He takes away hunger and thirst. Which of these experiences do I have in my life?
Be for me a rock-fastness,
a fortified citadel to save me.
You are my rock, my rampart;
true to your name, lead me and guide me! (Ps 31,1-2)