HOMILY FOR THE 18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B
THEME: THE BREAD OR THE LORD WHO PROVIDES THE BREAD
Beloved in Christ, this morning we continue our reflection on the bread of life discourse in John 6. Our theme ” THE BREAD OR THE LORD WHO PROVIDES THE BREAD ” is to help us answer a fundamental question about our relationship with the Lord. It is like answering the question – why do I seek the Lord; for miracles or for a relationship with Him.
It is interesting to note that in John 6:2 we are told the crowd followed Jesus on account of the signs he performed for the sick. But this morning the author says the crowd was looking for Jesus (John 6:24) and Jesus explains their search for Him as being motivated by the bread he gave them ; “because you ate the loaves and were filled (John 6:26,27). Thus the sign ,that is the bread which should lead them to develop a relationship with the person of Jesus,has now become the end of their search for Jesus.
Beloved, Jesus is not an abstract in fact, He is a person and we are obliged as Christians to have a personal relationship with Him. Therefore, we must come to Jesus with the idea of seeking a relationship with Him and not simply see Him as a miracle worker. But unfortunately, most of us see Jesus only as a miracle worker and not as a person.
My dear friend, this idea of going beyond the signs performed by Jesus is affirmed in John 6:27 “DO NOT WORK FOR FOOD THAT PERISHES “. However, like the Israelites in our 1st reading we also complain against God in the name of this perishable food.
But in John 6:35 , Jesus assures us that whoever comes to him will never hunger or thirst.
The emphasis is on the word “come”, that is whoever makes a choice for him, by seeking a relationship with Him and also believing in him,will have his or her needs taken care of by God.
Beloved in Christ, to help us develop this relationship with Jesus Christ, the second reading says the starting point is to put away the old self of your former life and put on the new self created in God’s way.
Let us therefore make a commitment today not to make the bread that perishes the center of our lives but rather God who gives us the bread that does not perish.