Liturgy of the Sunday

Ossza Meg

Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Memorial of St. Seraphim of Sarov, a Russian monk and staretz (+1833). He communicated peace by witnessing the Easter joy and the action of the Holy Spirit


First Reading

Exodus 16,2-4.12-15

And the whole community of Israelites began complaining about Moses and Aaron in the desert and said to them, 'Why did we not die at Yahweh's hand in Egypt, where we used to sit round the flesh pots and could eat to our heart's content! As it is, you have led us into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death!' Yahweh then said to Moses, 'Look, I shall rain down bread for you from the heavens. Each day the people must go out and collect their ration for the day; I propose to test them in this way to see whether they will follow my law or not. 'I have heard the Israelites' complaints. Speak to them as follows, "At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will have bread to your heart's content, and then you will know that I am Yahweh your God." ' That evening, quails flew in and covered the camp, and next morning there was a layer of dew all round the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the desert was something fine and granular, as fine as hoarfrost on the ground. As soon as the Israelites saw this, they said to one another, 'What is that ?' not knowing what it was. 'That', Moses told them, 'is the food which Yahweh has given you to eat.

Second Reading

Ephesians 4,17.20-24

So this I say to you and attest to you in the Lord, do not go on living the empty-headed life that the gentiles live. Now that is hardly the way you have learnt Christ, unless you failed to hear him properly when you were taught what the truth is in Jesus. You were to put aside your old self, which belongs to your old way of life and is corrupted by following illusory desires. Your mind was to be renewed in spirit so that you could put on the New Man that has been created on God's principles, in the uprightness and holiness of the truth.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 6,24-35

When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, 'Rabbi, when did you come here?' Jesus answered: In all truth I tell you, you are looking for me not because you have seen the signs but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat. Do not work for food that goes bad, but work for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of man will give you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal. Then they said to him, 'What must we do if we are to carry out God's work?' Jesus gave them this answer, 'This is carrying out God's work: you must believe in the one he has sent.' So they said, 'What sign will you yourself do, the sight of which will make us believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers ate manna in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' 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.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

"Rabbi, when did you come here?" Jesus knew that people were looking for him only out of self-interest, but he was not scandalized by their request; he came to save them, not to receive their consensus. There is an order of life that is higher; a dimension of existence that goes beyond worries about eating, clothing, and achieving a career. All these things are part of life but they are not its heart. Jesus says to the crowds who were seeking him because of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves that there is a food that does not perish. This is what we need. We should do all we can in order to have it. But the crowds do not understand these words and think that Jesus is asking them to observe other precepts in order to obtain the continuation of the miracle, "What must we do to perform the works of God?" Truly Jesus demands only one thing from them: to believe in him. In another part of the Gospel Jesus affirms, "This is the work of God, that you believe in whom he has sent." It is not about another precept or an additional prescription, rather it is about a personal and affectionate involvement with Jesus and his Gospel. All this is not spontaneous and natural. For some aspects faith is a true "work." It is without doubt a gift from God, but at the same time it is entrusted into our hands, and as every work, it requires decision, application, continuity, toil, choices, and total abandonment.
People seem to perceive something and they ask, "What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you?" There was need of another bread. Jesus explains to his listeners that the true bread is that which comes from heaven. Even more, it is "that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." The crowd understood only part of this and they said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." It is a spontaneous request, and, at first sight, it is also a beautiful one; I wish it were the request of each of us. And yet, it should rise from the heart, rather than from the stomach. And Jesus, as it happens in decisive moments, says clearly, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry." Now we understand the full meaning of the manna in the desert and that of the bread multiplied for five thousand people. There is bread - which is Jesus himself - that is available to everyone; it comes from God and yet it is not far from us. We all can freely receive it. Let us go close to the bread of life" and as the apostle Paul says, we will be "renewed in the spirit of our minds, and will clothe ourselves with the new self."