Reflection: 12th August 2018

A Reflection for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

JN 6: 41-51 ( ) 

The Bread 

The only miracle of Jesus that is reported in all four Gospels is the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. It will come as no sur­prise that it is only in John that this miracle leads to an extended discourse between Jesus and the crowds who have witnessed the event.

The alt of conflict that was established in Chapters … intensi­fies now as Jesus is, once again, challenged on the meaning of his words.

And, again, the key to understanding what is taking place, as the discourse unfolds, lies in reading the entire controversy in the light of the Easter faith of the Church.

The backdrop to this sign is the Jewish feast of Passover, already mentioned in Chapter 2 of the Gospel. A year has passed and the 'signs that Jesus was doing for the sick' mean that large crowds are continuing to follow him. That does not constitute faith.

In this lengthy narrative John will explore still further what it means to come to faith in Jesus.

It is interesting to note that, as the chapter progresses, there is a change in the people who are in dialogue with Jesus.  At the outset we have a large crowd (6:5); 'the Jews' (6:41); the disciples (6:60); and, finally, the Twelve (6:67)

This narrowing of the focus allows the evangelist to bring the readers as would-be disciples to the point where they too must choose when they are asked- 'Do you also wish to go away?'

Mr. Seán Goan – Seán is the Coordinator of Spiritan Mission Ireland. A former chaplain in Blackrock College, he began there as a teacher in the early 1990s. He has studied in the Biblical Institute in Rome and in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.