Sunday Gospel reflections: Be nourished by the bread of life
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Have you ever asked yourself: is it worth it? Is all the energy that I’m investing in this relationship or this project really worth the struggle? Today we hear of a stressed-out and anxious, even desperate, crowd. They find Jesus to be elusive and, when they finally track him down, they ask: “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” The answer Jesus offers is equally elusive: Your work is to believe. Their ongoing faith will nourish and sustain them from day to day. As their ancestors were sustained by manna in the desert, so will they be sustained by bread from heaven.
In their eagerness, they respond: “Sir, give us this bread always.” He assures them that he himself is the bread of life and will be their strength and comfort. Some of his followers will find this teaching difficult and leave; the rest will understand, or believe, and accept the bread of life as their strength and comfort.
What this new bread will mean is unique for each individual, but at the Eucharist we gather as a community and pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Our common prayer is answered as one by one we accept the bread of life, the living presence of Jesus that promises to sustain and guide one and all as we discern and undertake the works of God in our own lives.
— Corbin Eddy
Exodus 16:2–4, 12–15
Psalm 78:3-4, 23–24, 25, 54
Ephesians 4:17, 20–24