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Scripture reflection: One bread, one body

20 July 2018

Lectionary reading

First reading: 2 Kings 4:42-44.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 144(145):10-11, 15-18.

Second reading: Ephesians 4:1-6.

Gospel: John 6:1-15.


Link to readings.

Introduction

For what do we hunger? Today’s readings speak of our deepest needs.

In the First Reading, twenty loaves, given to Elisha the prophet in thanksgiving for the first fruits, feed over a hundred with plenty left over.

The Psalm, part of Psalm 144 (145), praises our just and loving God who generously grants all our desires.

In emphasising our vocation, St Paul, in the Second Reading, reminds us that it is God who is our Father—and that he is our unity and our peace. The Spirit enables us to live out our baptism in charity with each other.

The Gospel is the account of the feeding of the five thousand. It begins the famous chapter in St John presenting Jesus as the Bread of Life, the sacrament of unity.

Perhaps this week we can be conscious that the Lord gives himself in so many ways in our lives – and gives not just ‘enough’, but gives in abundance.

Second reading

Ephesians 2:13-18.

I come to my place of prayer.

I try to relax and prepare to welcome the Scripture text.

I read it slowly and carefully.

I imagine Paul in prison in Rome ... yet anxious for the faithful of Ephesus and writing urgently to them.

In this short passage, I can weigh every word.

I myself have a personal vocation ... do I consider this?

What aspect of my relationships with others appeals most to me?

Am I conscious of always working for unity in the various groups to which I belong?

What is this unity for me?

Is it unity in the love of the Father for us all ... ? as part of the body of Jesus ... ? in the call of the Spirit ...? or in being one with others in faith and baptism ...?

I ponder and speak to the Lord.

I may ask the Lord to gather us all, like the crumbs in today’s Gospel, in unity and peace.

I bring my prayer to a close, and end with the words:

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit ...

Gospel

John 6:1-15.

I take time to settle into prayer, becoming aware of being in God’s loving presence. When I am ready, I read the text slowly.

Can I imagine the scene, with the disciples and the tired, hungry crowd?

How does Jesus sound as he speaks to the anxious Philip and the small boy who offers his loaves and fish? Smiling, teasing …? Tired, impatient…?

Where do I find myself? With whom do I identify, and why?

I watch Jesus, listen to his words, his instructions, observe his actions.

What strikes me? Jesus’s concern for the people ... the abundance of food, yet care not to waste ... Jesus the prophet ... the foreshadowing of the Eucharist …?

I stay with what draws me today and speak to the Lord about this.

As I finish my prayer, perhaps I can ask to be more conscious of travelling on with Jesus today.

 

Prepared by St Beuno’s Outreach in the Diocese of Wrexham

 

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