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Monthly Archives: July 2021

I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE

I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE

(A biblical reflection on the 18th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME [YEAR B] – 1 August 2021)

Gospel Reading: John 6:24-35

First Reading: Exodus 16:2-4,12-15; Psalms: Psalm 78:3-4,23-25,54; Second Reading: Ephesians 4:17,20-24

The Scripture Text

So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on Him has God the Father set His seal.” Then they said to Him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” So they said to Him, “Then what sign do You do, that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you 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.” They said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:24-35 RSV)

Throughout the ages, God continues to teach His people the same lessons. By giving the Israelites manna in the desert, He taught them to rely on Him on a day-by-day basis (Exodus 16:4). Centuries later, we see Jesus teaching His disciples a similar lesson: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you” (John 6:27). He did not want them to limit their expectations to “perishable” signs and wonders from God. He wanted to take away their guilt and fill them with a love they had never known before.

When the people asked what works they should do in order to please God, Jesus gave them a very simple answer: “Believe in Him whom God has sent” (John 6:28-29). Nothing pleases our heavenly Father more than His children’s trust and obedience.

Even today, Jesus continues to teach us the same lesson. He does not want us to go hungry; He wants us to come to Him and be satisfied (John 6:35). He knows that only He can quench our hunger and thirst for meaning and security. A daily, living relationship with Him is our only answer.

Why do we find it hard to come to Jesus? Maybe we have a limited view of God and are afraid He will not satisfy our hunger. Maybe we think that we somehow have to earn His love by doing all the right things. Or maybe we have been disappointed in earthly relationships and find it hard to believe that our heavenly Father loves us just as we are. He is more interested in intimacy with us than in our performance because He knows that the more we know of His love, the more we will be compelled to obey His commands. Let us come to Him in faith, trusting that He alone can satisfy the deep desires of our hearts.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, You are the bread of life. Fill us with Your love so that we will never want anything else. Teach us to come to You every day to receive the food that endures to eternal life. Amen.

Jakarta, 31 July 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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MATTHEW 14:1-2 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:1-12)

Jakarta, 31 July 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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MATTHEW 13:57-58 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:54-58)

Jakarta, 30 July 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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JOHN 11:27 (Today’s Gospel Reading: John 11:19-27)

Jakarta, 29 July 2021 [Memoria of St, Martha]

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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MATTHEW 13:44-46 (Today’s Gospel Reading)

Jakarta, 28 July 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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MATTHEW 13:41-43 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:36-43)

Jakarta, 27 July 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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MATTHEW 13:16-17 (Today’s Gospel Reading)

Jakarta, 26 July 2021 [Memoria of St. Joachim and St. Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary]

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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JOHN 6:15 (Today’s Gospel Reading: John 6:1-15)

Jakarta, 25 July 2021 [17th ORDINARY SUNDAY – YEAR B]

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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GOD STILL WORKS IN EVERY SITUATION OF OUR LIVES TO BRING US CLOSER TO HIS SON

GOD STILL WORKS IN EVERY SITUATION OF OUR LIVES TO BRING US CLOSER TO HIS SON

(A biblical reflection on the 17th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME [YEAR B] – 25 July 2021)

Gospel Reading: John 6:1-15

First Reading: 2Kings 4:42-44; Psalms: Psalm 145:10-11,15-18; Second Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6

The Scripture Text

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a multitude followed Him, because they saw the signs which He did on those who were diseased. Jesus went up into the hills, and there sat down with His disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up His eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to Him, Jesus said to Phillip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” This He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, He distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, He told His disciples, “Gather up the fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign which He had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!”

Perceiving then that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, Jesus withdrew again to the hills by Himself. (John 6:1-15)

As Passover approached, Jesus took His disciples into the hills of Galilee. When He saw a large crowd coming toward them, His primary concern was for their needs. Consequently, He decided to provide for them with the miraculous sign of the loaves and fish.

Of all the accounts of this event in the gospels, John’s is the only one to mention the feast of Passover (John 6:4), the great Jewish feast recalling how God rescued His people from Egypt and fed them with manna in the wilderness. YHWH graciously gave them bread from heaven as their daily food to sustain them. Even when the people grumbled and went astray, they were never without manna.  In every situation, even in rebellion, God was committed to teaching them to rely on Him for their needs.

In a similar way, Jesus was concerned to teach Philip and Andrew – as well as the thousands who had come to hear Him preach – what it meant to rely upon Him alone. Both Andrew and Philip had travelled with Jesus and had seen firsthand the miracles He performed. Yet, when Jesus tested them with the question about where to buy bread, Philip failed to comprehend that the presence of Jesus Himself was all that was needed. Andrew recognized that Jesus was able to work some miracles, but supposed that He needed some small amount of bread and fish to work with (John 6:8). But Jesus knew that He could provide abundantly for the physical and spiritual needs of all who had come to Him.

Even today, Jesus Christ is still all that is needed to provide the fullness of life for those who come to Him. God still works in every situation of our lives to bring us closer to His Son. He is constantly teaching us to trust in Him by asking us to obey Him and entrust our needs to His care.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, You are the bread of life come down from heaven, and You will never fail us. We trust in You to bring us into eternal life. Teach us to remain at rest as we rely on You to sustain every aspect of our lives through faith. Thank You, Jesus – my Lord and Savior. Amen.

Jakarta, 24 July 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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MATTHEW 13:30 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:24-30)

Jakarta, 24 July 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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