Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time- Cycle B

August 2, 2015

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Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Exodus 16:2-4,12-15

Psalm: 78:3-4,23-25,54

Second Reading: Ephesians 4:17,20-24

Gospel Reading: John 6:24-35

  • After the feeding of the 5000, which we heard about last week, the readings skip over an episode where Jesus walks upon the water (John 6:16-21).
  • As was noted last week, the time is Passover—one year before the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. As this discourse opens, he is now teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum (John 6:24, 59).
  • The crowds seek Jesus out, not because they have real faith in him but, as Jesus perceives, because he gave them bread to eat. Jesus invites them to seek out heavenly food, and to place their trust in him. This prompts the crowd into asking Jesus how he compares to Moses, who the Jews revered as the giver of their religious law.
  • Jesus previously filled them with bread for their stomachs; now he will try to lead them into a deeper understanding of who he himself is and what he can really do for them.

 

QUESTIONS:

  • According to St. Paul (in verses 18-19, omitted from Sunday’s 2nd reading), what causes the mental futility, darkened understanding, and alienation of our pagan society? To what types of behavior does it lead? What might be the effects of the change he proposes in the last three verses of our 2nd reading?
  • What does the crowd ask Jesus to do in order that they may believe in him (verse 30)? How does Jesus use the crowd’s interest in food to illustrate what he wants them to understand? What are the similarities and the differences between the manna (see Exodus 16) and the Bread of Life (verse 35)?
  • Why, primarily, were the crowds interested in the signs Jesus performed (John 2:23-24, 6:2)? Is seeking Jesus always commendable? Do we seek Jesus for himself, or for what he can do for us (see CCC 305)?
  • Jesus claims to be the true bread from heaven and that all who come to him will never know hunger or thirst. What does it mean to “come to Jesus” (verse 35; CCC 2830, 1817)?
  • Are there areas in your life that are (or would be) difficult to give up control of to God?

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 151, 2836-37

 

This is our daily Bread; take It daily, that It may profit thee daily. Live, as to deserve to receive It daily.  –St. Augustine

 

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- St. Jerome