1st Reading: Kings 19:4-8
2nd Reading: Ephesians 4:30, 5:2
_Gospel Reading: John 6:41-51_______________________________________
The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said,
"I am the bread that came down from heaven,"
and they said,
"Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph?
Do we not know his father and mother?
Then how can he say,
'I have come down from heaven?'"
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.
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is 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."
"Murmuring and Disbelief"
In this Sunday, while we are still on the episode of the Bread of Life Discourse (Jn. 6:1-69), this particular part of the Gospel echoes to us the reaction of the Jews on Jesus’ manifestation of himself as the Bread of Life. The Jews reportedly murmured when Jesus manifested himself as Bread of Life. The content of their grumbling is but their faithlessness and distrustfulness to Jesus’ Words. Confidently, they dismissed Jesus’ claim by arguing that he is known as a son of his parents whom they know too well. This grumbling disbelief on their part however does not defeat Jesus’ claim; Jesus is still the Bread from heaven who gives life eternal. The Jews however are in the losing side however because their disbelief is but a perpetuation of their disbelief since the time of Moses. Surprisingly, many of the biblical experts identify the Jews’ murmuring in this context as a reminder of the days of Moses leading these disbelieving Israelites. That murmuring is reminiscent of their attitude towards God and to Moses’ decisions. Their discomforts during the forty years walking in the desert were dotted by series of murmurings and endless complaints against God. Now, as they encounter the Son of God himself – indeed God himself, the Jews has since blinded themselves with their complaints and murmurings. They failed to see in Jesus the promised Messiah and therefore, they failed to behold the one promised since the time of Moses. They keep on missing the point and instead, they settle on complaints and murmuring rather than stepping up towards faith. It is clear that Jesus pointed out to them that the Father will draw them in faith to Him; but it is so unfortunate that they cannot respond to the Father’s invitation because they simply cannot hear the Father’s invitation; what they can hear only is their own murmurings, their endless complains and consequently what they can hear is their disbelief. Who can step out from their own prison of disbelief if what they can hear is their selfish murmuring of faithlessness?
As a challenge, in considering one’s position in the most debated RH Bill today, it is so timely to consider stepping up from the murmur of disbelief and open one’s ear to the other side of the corner.
Fray Ric Anthony Reyes, OSA