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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Homily

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
John 6:24-35
August 2, 2015

The Israelites were grumbling.  They were concerned that they could find nothing to eat in the desert.  A legitimate concern, but how soon they forgot how they came to the desert.  God had set them free from Egypt. Did they think God would abandon them in the desert?

Of course, God heard their cry for food and provided.  He sent down bread from Heaven.  They had plenty of bread and quail to eat but they were to gather only their daily portion.

God did all this way “so that you may know that I, the Lord, am your God.”  God did this so they would know they could trust Him.

Moving ahead several centuries, last week we heard how Jesus had feed a great multitude of people with just five barley loaves and two fish and there was more left over than they started with.

Now, great crowds are coming to him.  Why?  As Jesus says, “you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.”  The physical feeding was important but this was more than that.

Jesus wants us know what the true bread from Heaven is.  He is.

Is Jesus concerned about our physical hunger?  Absolutely, but He is even more concerned about our spiritual hunger.  Jesus didn’t just give the people food to eat for one meal.  He gave us faith to know that God will always provide.

Jesus tells us, “I am the bread of life” and that if we come to Him we will never hunger or thirst.  If we see Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 as only about earthly bread, it would seem impossible that we would never hunger or thirst again.  That should lead us to realize Jesus is speaking about something more here.  When we come to Jesus our heart and souls will be filled.

For us, we receive the Bread of Life in the form of the Eucharist we will celebrate here today.  We each will receive one tiny piece of bread.  It’s thin and only 1 ¼ inches in diameter but it gives us so much.

We might often think more is better, but when it comes to the Eucharist, we don’t need a plate full, just our daily portion.  We do need to keep coming back to be renewed in Jesus.

Think of the words we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “give us this day our daily bread.”  It doesn’t say give us as much as we want.  We take what we need for today and trust in God for tomorrow.  We need to come each week to receive the Bread of Life to always remain in Jesus.

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