April 21, 2015
Tuesday, 3rd Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 7:51–8:1
Gospel: Jn 6:30–35
The people said to Jesus, “Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe you. What sign do you perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says: They were given bread from heaven to eat.”
Jesus then said to them, “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. The bread God gives is the One who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” And they said to him, “Give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Food is just a basic necessity; it does not define the essence of humanity. The principle “Man does not live on bread alone,” guided Jesus when tempted to make bread out of stone. But human beings easily descend to the level of the irrational, as if they exist only for food like any ordinary animal. “The discovery of a new dish”, wrote Anthelme Brillat-Savarin et al, “does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star”. This statement is an exaggeration, we surmise. But exaggerations drive home truths we fail to recognize.
The Jews asked Jesus the kind of sign he could perform, to check if like them he had the powerful and impressive connection. Moses gave their ancestors manna in the desert. Could Jesus outdo him by giving them food with matching dessert? But Jesus refused to go down to their level. He raised the conversation from perishable bread to Bread that spares them from hell. And when they were finally convinced that they should work for that Bread instead, he then presented himself as that eternal-life-giving Bread.
This Bread of life is still within our reach at our altars galore! How pathetic that we settle for less when God can give us more! Consider what we ask for as we pray: we ask for longevity when God can give us eternity; we ask for material wealth when God can give us good health; we ask to prevail over an enemy when it is noble to ask for the gift of humility; we ask for youthful beauty when the better thing to ask for is profound spirituality. In other words, we prefer to wallow when we are meant to soar even higher than a swallow.
While we have to eat bread otherwise we end up dead, let’s not forget that our souls should also get fed. Jesus continues to offer himself as Bread of eternity; how pathetic that those attending Mass do not even count seventy. Next year is International Eucharistic Year to be held for the first time in Cebu City. The last time this congress was held in our country was in 1937 on the month of February. May we grow in our appreciation of the Eucharist through this international activity! – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, make us hunger for the bread that gives eternal life as we look forward to the eternal life you promise though Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Anselm, Bishop of Canterbury, was born of a noble family in Italy in 1033. At the age of 27, he entered a Benedictine monastery and three years later was elected abbot. St Anselm, the father of Scholasticism, believes in an education that does not stifle freedom. In the Monologue, he spoke of God as the highest being; while in the Prologue, He gave the greatest ontological proof of His existence. He died at the age of 76.