Daily Reflection on the Gospel of Sunday, August 8, 2021

Catoli News

Today, the Gospel shows how disconcerted Jesus' countrymen were when in his presence: “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” (Jn 6:42). The life of Jesus amongst his own people had been so normal that, when He began to proclaim the Kingdom, those who knew him were shocked at what He was saying.

What Father was Jesus referring to, whom nobody had ever seen before? Which could be that living bread coming from heaven that those who eat of it would live forever? He denied it was the manna in the desert because those who ate it also died. “The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (Jn 6:51). Could his flesh be food for us? The baffling doubts Jesus was spreading amongst the Jews could also embarrass us should we not be able to answer a question basic for our Christian life: Who is Jesus?

Many men and women before us have asked themselves the same question, have personally answered it, have gone to Jesus, have followed Him and now they enjoy an endless life full of love. And those who now may come to Jesus, He will raise them up on the last day. (cf. Jn 6:44). John Cassian exhorted his monks by telling them: “‘Come close to God, and He will come close to you’, because ‘nobody can come to Jesus unless he is drawn by the Father who sent Him’ (...). In the Gospel we listen to the Lord inviting us to join Him: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Let us embrace the Word of the Gospel that brings us near Jesus every day; let us welcome the invitation of the very Gospel to enter into communion with Him by eating his flesh, because “This is the true food, Christ's flesh, which being Word has become flesh, as it is said ‘And the Word became flesh’” (Origen).