18th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Call to worship

When his followers ask for a sign that they might believe, Jesus tells them that He is Bread of Life. Those who come to Him will never hunger or thirst. We pray today to have a strong faith so we can truly believe that Jesus sustains our living.

  • To the point: The gospel narrates a series of questions and answers between Jesus and the crowd. What is the content of the discussion? The crowd pursues Jesus, looking for concrete signs to satisfy their immediate needs. They have already been fed bread and are looking for more. Jesus challenges them, however, to look at the deeper meaning to which the signs point. How does Jesus do this? He calls them to see the signs as revelation of himself as the “more” for which they look, the “more” that truly satisfies, the “more” they have already been given. He is “the bread of life.”
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 6: 24-35) to the first reading: In the first reading the people grumble because they are hungry, and God hears them and gives them “bread from heaven.” In the gospel, the crowd is also looking for food, but Jesus offers them something new—himself as the new bread from heaven, “the bread of life.”
  • Connecting the Gospel to our experience: Are we ever satisfied? No! We are always pursuing better ways to meet our needs and wants, sometimes so intensely that we miss far greater gifts being offered to us. This gospel reminds us that the greatest gift has already been given to us—Jesus himself, “the bread of life.”

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(John 6: 24-35)

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

Lord, we follow you, seeking, because we are
hungry for infinite life and love.
Your Father gave us you.
In all creation, in searching, repairing, giving;
in every friendship, love, joy and grief,
in all that is difficult, challenging, beautiful
and true, you are with us always
and everywhere, in everything.
All is Eucharist now. So give us, this day,
the bread that is you. Fill our hungry hearts and minds
with your love. And give life to all the world.

The First Reading

(Exodus 16: 2-4, 12-15)

On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, “What is this?”
for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them,
“This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.”

You called them out of Egypt.
Their desert hunger was great.
They grumbled and cried
for the fleshpots of slavery.
You call us too,
out of our cozy comfort,
to fix the climate crisis,
feed the hungry and end discrimination.
And we grumble and dig in our heels.
We fear to go where you lead
because we’ve never
been there before.
Give us yourself in the Eucharist.
Give each of us your life,
make us glad to become your journey now.

The Second Reading

(Ephesians 4: 17, 20-24)

Put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.

Father in heaven, make us totally new.
Help us put on fresh selves.
Give us your way of thinking and being.
Let us please put on the mind of Christ.

Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck.

Music for reflection