18B – 01 Aug 2021
Trust for today; Bread for now
Message by: Fr Richard M Healey
Sunday 18, Year B.
- First Reading ‡ Exodus 16:2-4.12-15 I will rain bread from heaven upon you.
- Responsorial ‡ Psalm 77:3-4.23-25.54 The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
- Second Reading ‡ Ephesians 4:17.20-24 Put on the new person that has been created in God’s image.
- Gospel ‡ John 6:24-35 Whoever comes to me will never be hungry; whoever believes in me will never thirst.
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One of the issues or the questions this period of the pandemic has really kind of exposed within our society. Although it’s certainly been present for quite a long time, is the question of who can we trust?
There have been so much made in the era of President Trump about fake news about fake sources of information and information and news sources or series that weren’t able to be trusted.
And it has begun to impact upon our world.
Lots of different factions have have questioned the the teachings of scientists, or indeed of the government, and it’s one of the questions around vaccination at the moment about who do we trust? And the government certainly hasn’t helped with a lot of mixed messages around the different kinds of vaccines.
That are available.
And this question continues to to be at the heart of of who we are as a people.
Who can we trust? Me trust is essential for us. We don’t live and flourish unless we know that we’re in an environment of trust.
Unless we’re in a place where we can relax and and be at peace, and so this question is is essential for us.
It comes to the the heart of the readings.
In the wilderness, the people of Israel, even though it had only been about a month since they’d left the slavery of Egypt.
They’d had enough, even though they just left a place of great flourishing. The place of Salem, which was an Oasis with fig trees and fresh water that was abundant and able to be to be drunk. But they’ve moved on from that. And we’re now in a place of.
No food and very little water, and so this question of like Moses. Why did you bring us out of of the slavery of Egypt into this place where we’re just going to die anyway?
We’d rather have died back in Egypt, where at least there was meat to eat. At least there was bread to eat. There was water to drink.
Why have you taken this into this place of despair? This place of the wilderness.
And that ultimately, that question is we don’t trust you and we don’t trust God. And so the Lord then addresses Moses and invites him to say no.
I myself will feed you. I myself will give you what you need. I will send the quails to come in the evening so there will be meat to eat in the morning.
When the Jew lifts, there will be this.
This strange substance that no one is quite sure what it is, and that’s why it’s called. What is it?
Mana is the the origin of that name, ’cause they don’t know what it is, but it’s like bread and it’s able to provide substance and sustenance throughout the day.
And so the Lord says, no.
I will be there for you. I have made this promise. I have made this covenant commitment to you and from my point of view I’m always going to be faithful to that.
Despite all of the testing is by law, the infidelity of the people, God will be faithful to us.
And so when we come to the gospel, we’ve jumped over The Walking on water scene that that happens in between the feeding of the 5000 and the disciples and Jesus going back across the lake in the boat.
And the people are asking this question here how did you get here? And Jesus realizes that they’re only really asking that question.
’cause they just want to see another sign, another miracle, another manifestation of his glory, but not so that he will. They will believe. But just so that their tummies will be fair, there’s their stomachs will be full.
The point of signs, as we saw in the first miracle stories, the first signs that are present in the Gospel of John.
In Chapter 2, the two signs that are present there are about the glory of God about opening people hearts to believe in the one that is there before them to open their eyes to see the reality of who Jesus is.
So he’s always inviting us into that experience and that encounter to trust in him, not to stay with the signs that don’t point anywhere but to go beyond into the reality of what God is inviting us into.
Today we can trust in him. Today we are invited to renew our desire and our commitment to God to allow God to call us back into life. To allow God to be the one that will sustain and draw US ever into that presence.
He is the bread of life. He is the one who will sustain us and feed us. He is the one who can offer that hope.
We can trust in him because he’s been faithful all throughout history. We’ve known from the witness of all those who have gone before us who’ve been able to demonstrate and to point to the reality of what God has done in their lives that we can trust God. To do that work today. That’s why it’s so crucial for us to pray the Lord’s prayer each day. To pray indeed, give us this day our daily bread.
Not enough for tomorrow, not enough for next week. All that God ever promises there will be enough for today.
There will be all that we need this day. All that we need to be sustained and to find joy and hope today.
God is present not in the future and not in the past, not in looking back to the fleshpots of Egypt, not in looking back to what things were like.
But today we have that possibility of encountering God: of experiencing his love and his presence.
So let’s indeed take the moment today to be grateful and thankful for what God has given us, and to know that today we can trust him. Today we can find our hope in our life in God.
Let’s indeed pray for our world, pray for each other, sustain and hold each other up in that prayer that we, together we’ll have all that we need to get through this, all that we need to be able to continue to experience the wonder of God’s love being present among us.