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August 1, 2015
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Last Sunday we heard Jesus performed the miracles by multiplying the bread. In Today’s Gospel we heard that people are searching for him. Jesus said to them: “Amen, Amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled”. John likes to describe the miracle as a sign. What does it mean “sign”? Signs are not always crystal clear. Of course we know what is “stop” sign is telling us. Words are signs, but if they were always clear, there would never be any miscommunication. Jesus worked a sign, but the people grasped it only on one level, material level. They saw an easy future for themselves, they would be provided for, free food and they would have a nice leader to liberate them from Roman rulers. That is not what Jesus' sign meant. Jesus wanted to feed and nourish them-not, however, on a material level. He would feed their minds, their hearts, their spirits for all eternal life. As he said later in John’s gospel: “I came that they may have life and may have it to the full” (John 10:10). How many people in Today’s world do not thing about their deep spiritual needs. In Today’s Gospel we read: “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” So Jesus said to them, Amen, Amen I say to you, it was not Moses who gave bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. Multiplying the bread and giving them to them people is a “sign” that the bread from heaven-Jesus himself-has come to the world.
Fr. Jonas Tandayu, MSC