Gospel Reflection – Wednesday, April 17, 2024 – John 6,35-40 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Acts 8,1b-8)

Reading of the Acts of the Apostles.

That day, a great persecution began against the Church of Jerusalem. And everyone, except the apostles, dispersed throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.

Some pious people buried Stephen and observed great mourning over him. Saul, however, devastated the Church: he entered houses and dragged men and women out to throw them in prison. Meanwhile, those who had dispersed went everywhere, preaching the Word. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and announced the Christ to them. The crowds followed attentively the things Philip said. And everyone listened to him unanimously, because they saw the miracles he performed.

Evil spirits came out of many possessed people, giving loud screams. Numerous paralytics and cripples were also healed. There was great joy in that city.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (John 6,35-40)

— Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus said to the crowd: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty again. But I told you that you have seen me, but you do not believe. All those whom the Father entrusts to me will come to me, and when they come, I will not turn them away.

For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should not lose any of those he gave me, but raise them up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life. And I will raise him up on the last day.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, I gather with you to share a message of hope and renewal, brought by the sacred truths of God’s Word. Our spiritual journey is like a constant search for meaning and purpose, and we often find ourselves immersed in the turmoil of everyday life. However, it is in the midst of these experiences that we can find a deep connection to the lessons of Scripture.

Imagine yourself sailing in a rough sea, where the choppy waves seem ready to swallow you at any moment. This is how we feel sometimes when we face challenges, losses and uncertainty. The first reading of the Acts of the Apostles gives us a powerful example of this. We see the persecution that befell the early Christian community, scattering the faithful like seeds scattered by the wind. They faced a storm of adversity, but still found the strength to continue their mission.

Dear ones, just like the first Christians, we are called to persevere in our faith even when the headwinds seem to push us back. We need to remember the words of Jesus, our beloved Savior, who tells us: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (John 6:35). These words are a beacon of hope, a promise that even in the midst of the hardest trials, we will find nourishment and comfort in Christ.

Just like the crowd that followed Jesus to hear His words, we are invited to draw closer to Him and feed on His wisdom and grace. He is the living bread that came down from heaven, capable of satisfying our deepest spiritual hunger. But how can we feed on this bread? How can we experience the fullness of life in Christ?

Imagine yourself walking through a lush garden, where flowers bloom in vivid colors and birds sing heavenly melodies. This garden represents communion with God, a place where we find peace, joy and purpose. And, just as a garden needs care and attention, our relationship with God also requires commitment and dedication.

Here is the key: we must nourish our faith through prayer, reading the Scriptures, and the sacraments of the Church. Prayer is like water that nourishes plants, strengthening our spiritual roots and connecting us to the Divine. Reading God’s Word is like sunlight that illuminates our path, revealing the truth and wisdom we find in the Scriptures. And the sacraments are like fertilizer that enriches our spiritual soil, strengthening our communion with God and with the community of believers.

Dear ones, how are you nourishing your faith? Are you seeking this spiritual food to sustain your lives? It’s easy to lose sight of the importance of these daily practices, but it’s through them that we find the strength to weather life’s storms. It is through them that we connect to the source of eternal life and lasting hope.

I’m going to tell you a story. Once, a man was traveling through a dense, dark forest. He felt lost and desperate, not knowing which way to go. But then, he spotted a bright light on the horizon. This light guided him through the trees and obstacles until he finally found his way home. This light was like the presence of God in his life, illuminating his path and bringing him back to safety.

Dear ones, God is present in our lives, even when we face the darkest situations. He is the light that guides us, the bread that feeds us and the source of living water that quenches our spiritual thirst. He calls us to follow in His footsteps, to live in communion with Him and to share His love with the world around us.

As we move forward on our spiritual journey, facing challenges, and seeking a deeper relationship with God, remember these fundamental truths: we are called to persevere even in the midst of difficulties, to feed on the bread of life that is Jesus Christ, and to nourish our faith through prayer, reading the Scriptures and the sacraments.

Dear brothers and sisters, today I invite each of you to reflect on how these biblical passages apply to your daily life. How are you facing adversity? Have you sought spiritual food in Christ? What spiritual practices can you adopt to nourish your faith and strengthen your communion with God?

Remember that the journey of faith is not a solitary walk. We are a community of believers, united by the love of Christ and the desire to follow his teachings. By supporting each other, we can overcome challenges and experience the fullness of life in communion with God.

Dear ones, may the grace of God be with you as you move forward on your spiritual journey. May His love strengthen you in times of difficulty and may His hope guide you in times of uncertainty. And that, as a community, we can be living witnesses to the transforming power of the Gospel in our lives.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.