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Jesus Said – I am the bread of life

Gospel Meditation 20th April 2021

“So they asked Him, “What sign then will You perform, so that we may see it and believe You? What will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  “Sir,” they said, “give us this bread at all times.” Jesus answered, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.  But as I stated, you have seen Me and still you do not believe. “(John 6:30-36)

Among other things this Gospel reading challenges us to think about our demand on God to simply meet our physical needs. While we all want God to “give us our daily bread” and meet our basic requirements for a good life, we must look deeper than a superficial relationship with God. During the Pandemic we should have learned that simply praying that God will end the Pandemic, we need to be recognising God at work during the pandemic. One area where this is a challenge for us is in healing. When we pray for healing, we are often simply praying for a cure for the physical ailment -we need to dig deeper than that. There is a difference between being cured and being healed.  Being cured is like eating bread – the physical need is met – and Jesus met many peoples physical need for healing, but: Illness always has an emotional and spiritual connotation. Physical Distancing was not invented in 2020. Lepers were removed from the community and their family and friends and were shunned as unacceptable people. Today we have many people that we treat like lepers, and it is not just physical healing that they require, but they need to be loved. Jesus loved sinners and healed them – not just curing them but restoring their dignity, their self-worth, and their standing in the community. You do not have to be cured to be healed!

Jesus feeds us on the bread of life – he gives us a new identity – not just cured of the effects of sin, but healed, transformed reinstated in the family of God as beloved children of the Father.

When we feed on the bread of life we are transformed, let us accept healing for ourselves and for others. When we receive God’s healing, we do not need our circumstances changed, we do not need life to be different, for when we are healed, we will see life differently, we will live differently. Even now during this pandemic – our love can still be shown from a physical distance. St Paul had this thought and I put it in modern words.

“I am convinced that neither Corona Virus, nor physical distancing nor rising food prices, nor increasing poverty, nor threats of unemployment; not riots or corruption in government, nor party politics, nor factions in our lives, can separate us from the Love of God which is in Jesus Christ.”

We all pray to God and ask – “What sign will you give us oh Lord that you are present and care for us?” Today Jesus says – Behold I will love you even till the end of the age, and our love will sustain you, give you purpose and fill your life with joy.

therefore, “Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value].”  (Col 3:2 Amplified Bible) and all these things will be added unto you.

Jesus is the bread of life that comes down from heaven – he is the originator, and perfector of your faith (Heb12:2). Trust in hm beyond your limited understanding and see that God is doing for you more than you could think or ask – May God open your eyes for you to see the blessings that you receive from his hand.

God’s love will sustain you even when you cannot recognise what God is doing in your life. Trust God, from the bottom of your heart, for Jesus is the bread of life!

Let us pray!

Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen. ( Richard Rohr)

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