When Jesus describes himself as the bread of life, he prompts in us images of warmth and comfort. Jesus is the bread of life and he wants to give us that bread always. He wants to fill us with his risen life. What Jesus is saying, though, is more than mere sentiment. Jesus is our nourishment. He is our staple food. It is Jesus and Jesus alone who can bring us the true peace of God.
Our lifetime journey of faith, sometimes referred to as the spiritual life, is one of looking for Jesus. But, like the crowd, we often do so because we want or need something. As Jesus tells the crowd, so he tells us, to believe that he is the one sent from God, to see the presence of God in all things, to see beyond this earth to the stars, to have that vision which leads to a true understanding of God’s action and love within us…and we will never grow hungry.
Third Sunday of Easter –
Our life with God is a balance between contemplation and action, but the contemplation comes first. Then there is the purification process through suffering and the cross. Only then can we be authentic witnesses. We need enthusiasm and courage to preach and live the good news. We have been given our charge, our mandate, it is quite clear! We began this story with “Come follow me.” We end with “Go into the whole world and tell the good news.”
Jesus shatters an expectation and assumption when he comes to his disciples walking on the water. People do not walk on water! In this one gesture Jesus is teaching us to accept what we deemed impossible. Jesus sets aside preconceived notions about life itself. Based on this reading we need to open our lives to the possibility that everyone on the planet is equal. We are all God’s children.
Jesus was not only a great teacher; he was also a gracious host. He had the wisdom to understand that we cannot live by bread alone, but he also had the sensitivity to know that we cannot live without it either. Jesus attended to the spiritual and physical needs of the people. Today his first concern is to feed the crowd because they were hungry!
Loving others is also sharing in God. What we love in others is what is God-like in them. And we love them with what is God-like in us. And what others love in us is what we have of God in us. So, all mutual love is the mutual love of the same love with which God loves us. And so how dare we ration our gifts.
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. God wants to shed light on the world. That light is the Son of God, who frees us from prison and invites us to walk in light, to live the truth. There is no limit to what God offers to us in love. Surely there is no gift greater than the only begotten Son, the Light of the World.
Being a Christian involves living with many contradictions. It involves the world, it involves eternity, mystery and the holy, and we must be that sign of contradiction in this world. Once again, we are asked to discover the mystery of Christianity as we live out our life each day in this world.
We have been born again of water and the Holy Spirit. Jesus has breathed new life within us. We are now called to change the world and pray that the realization of what has happened within us will give us the courage to live this new life with boldness.
Sunday of Divine Mercy –
The incredible profession of faith made by Thomas was the result of honest doubt and lots of questions. Jesus does not reprimand Thomas for asking questions nor for having doubts. He accepted and appreciated Thomas’ need to experience for himself what the “resurrection of Jesus” was all about. He had to touch Jesus.