In the past week the readings in the Old Testament talk about the children of Israel lamenting,
“Would that we had meat for food! We remember the fish we used to eat without cost in Egypt,
and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now we are famished; we see nothing before us but this manna.” (Nm. 11: 4b-15)
Then Miriam and Aaron was complaining why the Lord was only speaking to Moses and not to them. (Nm. 12: 1-13) The Lord was so angry with them that when He departed, Miriam was suddenly afflicted with leprosy.
These accounts from the Sacred Scriptures tell us of a common nature of man: always complaining, always unsatisfied, always comparing his blessings with that of their neighbors. It is a murmur that mirrors what the Israelites did to Yahweh during their travel across the desert.
In today’s Gospel (Jn. 6: 41-51), we hear the Jews murmured about Jesus. They gossiped, ridiculed and talked about Him. What shortsightedness and stupidity! Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. Before these verses, the Lord was already into one of the deepest sermons about Himself, the Bread of Life. In verse 35, the Lord was telling them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.”
Sadly, these murmurings didn’t stopped there as today, some if not many of us see the Mass as a waste of time, unnecessary, even unimportant. Many don’t appreciate or see its relevance in their faith journey. During this pandemic, if there is something beautiful that came out of it, is my deeper love for the Holy Eucharist. While before I was just listening to music while on the road, I have started listening to the Mass while driving to and from work. It has given me a feeling of power and confidence and in fact saved me from a lot of inconveniences and incidents on the road. It made me murmur less about the traffic, as there’s something else better to do than think about how slow the pace of travel in EDSA is during the day’s drive. I’m praying that sometime soon when this pandemic is over, I’ll be able to spend more time in the Blessed Sacrament. Without giving it much thought before, our life should be sustained by the countless miracles that happen every day, when the Bread and Wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the countless Masses celebrated all over the world. It is a treasure we all should know and cherish as the Church reveals to us the real worth and value of the Holy Eucharist. Jesus is the Living Bread who came down from Heaven, and He has promised us Eternal Life if we partake of it.
Reading through the Bread of Life discourse in St. John’s Gospel tells us of the importance of the Body and Blood of Jesus. It is a not-so-easy topic to comprehend considering that the Gospel talks about what is Eternal, Heaven, and God the Father, among others. These are topics that are difficult to explain, more so understand. But for one who has faith in God, there’s no need for an explanation, believing in it is enough.
Now is the perfect time to ask yourself,
Do you allow God to draw you closer to Him?
Do you embrace Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and let Him feed your soul?
Are you lost in the anxieties and worries of everyday life, such that Christ just gets pass you unnoticed?
Pray that we take heart in the advice to slow down, being mindful of what’s happening around us, so that as the Psalmist says, we can “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord!”
“I am the living bread that came down from Heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread will live forever.” Jn. 6: 51