A Matter of Faith

John 6: 44-51
Acts 8:26-40 / Ps 66

Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.
(John 6:47-48)

If we cannot believe the Word
That the Bread of Life has given,
We may not be worth the reward
Of eternal life in heaven.

No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. 45It is written in the prophets, “And they shall all be taught by God.” Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’ (John 6:44-51)

Reflection

The Jews were now getting restless with what Jesus was saying about Himself. They knew Him as the son of the carpenter Joseph and Mary. They could not comprehend what he was claiming, that He was “the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (Jn.6:50-51).

Like the Jews in Jesus’ time, we may have to undergo a mental struggle, or even suspend our doubts and human understanding, if we are to enter into a mystical relationship with God. It’s a futile effort to try and breach the gap between knowledge and faith. There’s a world of difference between knowing and believing.

When the Jews asked Jesus earlier, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” His ready answer was, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the One He sent” (Jn.6:28-29). ‘Just believe Me, that’s all it takes,’ He seemed to be saying.

Most of our questions in this life will remain unanswered. We will only find the truth in Jesus Christ, Who is also our Way and our Life. Following the Father’s will through the words of Jesus must be our predominant quest in life. Not trying to understand the mysteries that baffle us. When our faith has been put to the test like tempered steel in fire, then the truth will be revealed to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. In time we will be inspired by the parables and teaching of Jesus in the Bible, which we once found difficult to accept. In the meantime, we must humbly accept what we cannot comprehend as truth, like the Holy Eucharist in the Mass as Jesus Christ Himself, “sent down from heaven.”

Grant me the grace to hold fast to Your Word, Lord Jesus, even if I still do not see the full significance of Your message. Help me believe the words of St. Paul that “at present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:12.) Amen.

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