This is a reflection on today’s Mass readings from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ website. The gospel itself follows.
Gospel Reflection Tuesday, Third Week of Easter
In this morning’s first reading, Stephen is stoned to death by those who found his preaching offensive. Luke who wrote the Acts of the Apostles portrays Stephen’s way of dying in a manner that would call to mind how Jesus died. As Jesus on the cross prayed, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit’, Stephen prays to the risen Jesus, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit’. As Jesus on the cross prayed, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’, Stephen prays to the risen Jesus, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them’. In other words, Luke presents Stephen as having the same relationship with Jesus that Jesus has with his heavenly Father. We are all called to have the same relationship with Jesus that Jesus has with his Father. Jesus’ intimate relationship with God his Father is to be the model of our relationship with Jesus. In the gospel reading this morning from the gospel of John, Jesus invites us into this intimate relationship with himself. He offers himself to us as the bread of life and calls on us to come to him, to believe in him, so that our deepest hunger will be satisfied and our deepest thirst quenched. We spend our lives responding to this invitation. The coming to him that believing in him involves is a constant coming; it is the journey of a lifetime, a journey into an ever deeper and more intimate relationship with the Lord. A little on in John’s gospel Jesus expresses the nature of this journey in another form when he calls on us to abide in his love, just as he abides in his Father’s love.
The Gospel reflection comes from WEEKDAY REFLECTIONS: To know the love of Christ 2016/2017 by Martin Hogan published by The Messenger c/f www.messenger.ie
Gospel John 6:30-35
It was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven.
The people said to Jesus, ‘What Sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’
‘I tell you most solemnly,
it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven,
it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven,
the true bread;
for the bread of God
is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world’.
‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.’
The Gospel of the Lord