A reading from the gospel according to John 6:44-51:
44 Jesus said to the crowds: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him on the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets: They shall all be taught by God. Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.
47 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.”
Pointers for Reflection:
1. The Father draws us. We come to Him because of His constant invitation. Though we ignore Him and turn our back from Him, He continues to knock at the door of our heart (Revelation 3:20). That is how much He loves each one of us. Yet He does not force us to love Him back. He has a standing offer of salvation and it is up to us to accept it. He is offering a spoonful of the food of life but if we cannot open our mouth to eat of this food, we will remain hungry and might as well die to eternal damnation.
2. “I will raise Him on the last day.” This is the great promise. This is our hope as believers. Though we are unworthy, the promise is given to us the moment we come to Him and believe in Him. We become heirs of His kingdom and He will live with Him in eternity.
3. Yet, there is the meantime. While we are still walking in the earthly path, we need to be nourished just as the Israelites were nourished by the manna from heaven. However, ours is different. We are sustained by the love of Jesus, the living bread.
4. “Whoever believes has eternal life”. Faith is life-giving. It is the source of our strength to continue in our journey. In our gospel reading, faith is accepting Jesus as the bread of life, or simply the source of nourishment and strength. When we believe in Jesus, He becomes our way to the Father. He becomes the truth which guides our thoughts, words and actions so that we may be made worthy to live with Him in eternity.