Reading Reflections, Eighteenth Sunday Year B

By 11:26 AM


When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.


·        Why Capernaum? This was Jesus’ home-base for ministry. He didn’t go back to Nazareth because it was out of the way and because he had a poor reception from the people of Nazareth.     
And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”  Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.  Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”    
·        Do we sometimes look for Jesus for the wrong reasons? They were looking for him to satisfy them once more, not for him. Their focus was themselves. They had experienced something good and wanted more of it.
·        Do we really value things that ultimately perish or do we value that which will last eternally?        
·        Do we look to Jesus or do we look for what he can give us?      
So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”


 
          They had a hard time accepting Jesus as one sent by God.


 

·        There is a difference in doing and being. They were looking for what they can do to gain eternal life, rather than focus on the more essential element first, namely, being in relationship with Jesus. This is what Jesus means by believing—accepting him as the Lord of their lives and following his lead. Have we done that and are we doing it?

So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

·        Do you hear the focus of their question? The focus was still on themselves. The sign of the multiplication of bread and fish was not enough for them to realize who Jesus truly was. Their focus was more signs, rather than on Jesus himself.       

o       As Jesus will eventually say, no matter how many signs I will perform that will not convince you who I truly am. The only sign will his death and resurrection. Even then many did not believe.

So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 

He points himself as the true bread from heaven sent by the Father.

So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

·        Jesus kept coming back to the central focus: himself. That is the great gift of God to them. Accepting him was the key to life.        

·        What do we learn from this passage that we can apply to our life today? Who is Jesus to us at this moment? Is our faith in him or in what he can do for us?      

 

 

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