Tenth Sunday after Pentecost: Week 13 in Ordinary Time

& archive, Year B.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You call us to come
To be with you,
And to learn trust, faith.
By your Spirit help me
To see you,
To hear your voice in the midst of trouble.
Help me to follow you in all of life,
To walk in the joy and freedom of the resurrection,
Indwelt and led by your Pentecost Spirit.
Amen

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost: Week 13 in Ordinary Time

Our lectionary guide engages us in Capernaum, on the west side of the Sea of Galilee, after a long night crossing. We wait as the crowd also arrives from the east side, and watch as they disembark and then see Jesus here.

A conversation begins between Jesus and the crowd who have followed him back to this coastal city—the many people whom Jesus had fed with the loaves and fishes. As we listen in we observe that these people admit their hunger, and their desire for the “bread of God . . . which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world,” as they ask Jesus, “Sir, give us this bread always.” (John 6:33) But when Jesus directs their attention to himself and says, “I am the bread of life. . . . for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me,” (6:35,38) they begin to complain. All they can see in Jesus is the son of Joseph, a man whose father and mother they know. How could Jesus have come from heaven?

Jesus does not seek to prove his identity, nor to prove God’s existence. Instead, he trusts in Abba, the One who sent him, to draw people into faith and belief: “No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me.” (6:44) It is only as God grants us the gift of spiritual sight that we begin to “see” and “know” the good news Jesus offers. This is a grace that we cannot earn or manipulate, but simply accept.

As a child and adolescent I heard the gospel story many times—in Sunday School classes, and later in a weekly Bible study group. I knew much about Jesus and the narratives in scripture, but I did not know Jesus in a personal way. Within my soul I was sometimes troubled, aware that I did not truly know this One who called me to follow him.

And then the insight came. I heard the good news of God’s love in sending Jesus and its meaning penetrated my deepest fears, needs, and desires. I knew that the good news was for me! I understood the message. And I said “Yes!” I believed.

However, I did not realize that in order to follow this Jesus I needed to know him more deeply, to feed on him, his words, his ways. There were so many other things which claimed my time and attention, and which I thought would satisfy my needs. But ultimately they didn’t. It took me time to learn that I needed nourishment for my inner being, otherwise this journey of discipleship would be too much for me. I could not do it on my own.

Jesus invites us to come close, to be with him, and to sink the roots of our being into who he is, what he says, and his ways. We drink from a multitude of wells within our worlds system—each offering satisfaction for the moment. But our thirst is never stilled.

Again, this week, allow the words of Jesus to be food for your mind and soul; allow them to lead you to Jesus who stills your deepest desires and hungers:

“I am the bread of life.
Come to me and you will never be hungry;
Trust in me and you will never thirst.”


Prayer before reading:

Lord Jesus Christ,
You come to us
In the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit,
Help me to be aware of how you come,
To be hospitable to your help,
And to your leading in the way of Jesus.

Amen

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost: Week 13 in Ordinary Time

  • 7/30 Monday: John 6:24 -34
  • 7/31 Tuesday: John 6:35
  • 8/1 Wednesday: Psalm 51:1-12
  • 8/2 Thursday: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
  • 8/3 Friday: Ephesians 4:1-16
  • 8/4 Saturday: John 6:24-34
  • 8/5 Sunday: John 6:35

Silent Reflection: Offer the prayer of your heart.