Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Living Bread

Today is the climax of the Gospel for this 3rd week of Easter from the 6th chapter of the Gospel of John.
Wednesday, the 3rd week of Easter - John 6:35-40.
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. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." 
We only hear Jesus in today's reading. The last verse from yesterday's gospel is repeated and the passage continues with Jesus commenting on the lack of faith in these people who seek Him because of the signs. Even though they see Him, they do not believe.

What we learn is that faith is a gift - a grace. Only those who the Father gives to Jesus will come to Him and believe. It reminds me that Jesus once said, "Many are called but few are chosen."  It makes me want to cry out, "Lord, choose me! Choose me!" Those who are among the chosen will never hunger or thirst because when they go to Jesus, they believe. They have the gift of faith and because they do, they follow Jesus, not because of what He can do for them, but because Jesus is the Son of God who is first born from the dead. This is why Jesus is able to raise the believer from the dead on the last day.

The reading says that Jesus only does the will of the Father, not His own will. Since it is the Father's will to send Him those who believe, He will not turn away those who the Father has chosen to send. Not only will He save those who believe, He will also raise them up at the last day. Finally, Jesus repeats what is the will of the Father: that those who see the Son and believe in Him will have eternal life and be raised on the last day. Those who seek signs rather than the one who is the bread of life, will perish.

Left out of this reading and Thursday's are the following verses:
The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 
Some people cannot see past the nose on their face. They stand murmuring among themselves about who Jesus is. They cannot get past Jesus' humanity to see His divinity - to see that He is what He says. It is grace to believe that the bread which came down from heaven to give eternal life is Jesus.

I Am the Bread of Life
by S. Suzanne Toolan 

I am the bread of life
He who comes to Me shall not hunger
He who believes in Me shall not thirst
No one can come to Me
Unless the Father draw him

And I will raise him up
And I will raise him up
And I will raise him up on the last day

The bread that I will give
Is My flesh for the life of the world
And he who eats of this bread
He shall live for ever
He shall live for ever

Unless you eat
Of the flesh of the Son of Man
And drink of His blood
And drink of His blood
You shall not have life within you

I am the resurrection
I am the life
He who believes in Me
Even if he die
He shall live for ever

Yes, Lord, we believe
That You are the Christ
The Son of God
Who has come
Into the world

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