EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME, YEAR, B.
5th August 2018.
Exodus 16:2-4,12-15; Ephesians 4:17,20-24; John 6:24-35.
The reality of the bigger eludes us all the time. The bigger picture about things hold true all that there is. Today’s readings call out attention on the need to focus on this bigger picture rather than on the particulars. The people that crossed over to Capernaum looking for Jesus Christ were motivated by material gain. Jesus Christ confirmed this when he clearly told them: I tell you most solemnly, you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat. This is the human state when concentration is on the immediate need.
We live in a world where the immediate is the real and the most important. We rarely consider options on the long term. Our attention is fixed on the now. The emphasis of the gospel reading is on the long term: Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life, the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.’ The grumbling on the lips of the Israelites of old according to the first reading, shows a myopic preference of slavery to freedom. ‘Why did we not die at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we were able to sit down to pans of meat and could eat bread to our heart’s content! As it is, you have brought us to this wilderness to starve this whole company to death!’ lack of the vision of the bigger picture will rob us of the beauty of our humanity that is expressed not in the particulars, but in the whole.
The second reading speaks of giving up the old life that is corrupted by following illusory desires. The truth lies in Christ. Jesus Christ is the bread of life that quenches all hunger.
Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.