Reading 1: Acts 6:8-15
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30
Gospel: John 6:22-29
Do you believe that Jesus can do the things he says he can do?
Today’s Gospel begins the Bread of Life discourse in John 6. John 6 has three parts:
- The multiplication of the loaves and fishes (verses 1-15)
- Jesus walks on water (verses 16-21)
- The Bread of Life discourse (verses 22-71)
Today’s Gospel reading is the very beginning of part 3. The people have followed Jesus across the Sea of Galilee hoping that he will feed them a second time. Jesus is getting ready to share with them his plan not to feed them a second time, but to feed them always with his flesh and blood. Before he unveils this plan, he asks them to believe:
” “So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” ”
Jesus shown that he has power over nature by multiplying loaves and fishes, and by walking on water. Hence, it would be logical to believe any future claims of Jesus regarding power of nature. However, it will soon prove to simply be too much for some of his disciples to believe that he can give them his flesh and blood to eat and drink. John 6:66 states that “as a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.”
Too often we act like these disciples. We are all about following Jesus when he is displaying visible signs and wonders in our life. Perhaps we have experienced his presence on a retreat, or have had a prayer answered. But when Jesus asks us to believe him when he says something that isn’t easy, too often we return to our former way of life.
Is there a part of your life in which you don’t really believe the words of Jesus? In John 6, all of the disciples could have been given the Bread of Life to eat had they simply believed. What are you missing out on by not fully believing Jesus?