St. Anne Parish
St. Anne Parish
August 1 2021,
18th Sunday B in Ordinary Time:
FR. Brito Pastor
Last week we switched from Mark’s Gospel to the Gospel of John. The first part of Chapter six of John speaks about the great crowd that is seeking to see and hear Jesus. They are excited about him because they had seen the signs he was performing on the sick. At the sight of the great crowd, Jesus was moved to perform a great miracle. He tells his disciples to give the crowd something to eat, but the crowd is so large that it would be impossible to feed them with the little they had. Jesus performs a great miracle and multiplies the five loaves of bread and the two fish, that there is more than enough food to feed them.
Well in today’s Gospel we see the same crowd before Jesus. Jesus says 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” Do not work for food that perishes but for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” Then they ask Jesus this very important question: “what must we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus Responds: “this is the work of God , that you believe in the one he sent.”
The Crowd answers: ”what sign can you do, that we may believe in you?’
Ok, They are demanding a sign, but didn’t they already see many signs?
“They are excited about him because they had seen the signs he was performing on the sick”; and wasn’t the multiplication of the loaves and fish a sign? Jesus tells them and us to trust in him always. We have the sign that is above all signs. We have the sign of the cross. And under the sign of the cross we have victory.
Again repeating what Jesus said: “this is the work of God , that you believe in the one he sent.” To believe in Jesus is to trust and follow everything he tells us. Do we really trust Jesus and do we really believe what he said? Well, Jesus will put the crowd to the test when he begins to speak about himself as the bread of life. The great crowd, that wanted to carry him off and make him king, now begins to desert him. We will see the full story played out in next week’s gospel.
The bread of life and the Tree of Life are brought together in the sign of the cross. It is from the cross that Jesus gives up his body and pours out his blood. This is the consummation of the great sacrament that he instituted at the last supper. And the final words at the supper were: “do this in memory of me.”
This is what we do at every mass. We fulfill the command of Jesus and we believe in him and in his words. “this is my Body given up for you, This is my blood poured out for you”
Some people will say things like: I don’t go to mass because I don’t get anything out of it. But even if the preaching was bad and the music was not of our liking, we still have the sacrament in which Jesus feeds us with his real body and blood. Can you imagine going before the Lord and saying I didn’t go to mass because I didn’t get anything out of it.
Jesus would tell us: What do you mean? I gave you my body and blood at every mass and an opportunity to participate in the one holy sacrifice offer for you on the cross; and you say you don’t get anything of value out of it? Than for you my sacrifice has no value.
The sign that we should seek is the sign of the cross. If the cross is the tree of life, then the Eucharist is its fruit. Jesus says: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life with in you”
Let us renew our trust in Jesus and believe in him. Amen