Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
May 7, 2019
Today, in Mercy, the crowd demands a sign from Jesus “that they may believe” in him. They refer to their ancestral memory of when God sent manna to their forebears in the desert – a miracle that restored their faith.
But although Jesus worked many wonders, he was not sent simply to be a “wonder worker”. The faith of the New Creation was not to be built on miracles but on sacrificial love.
Jesus tells the assembled crowd:
“ My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”
He is talking about himself, the ultimate gift of God, feeding not just the body but the spirit – giving new life to all Creation.
The sacrament of the Eucharist embraces this mystery and extends it through the ages. Embodied in the Sacred Bread, this mystery is also incarnated in the People of God as they believe, hope and love God’s Presence into the world.
As with all sacred mysteries, we cannot simply choose to believe as a rational act. This faith is not willed by us, but rather gifted to us, as Jesus says:
“ You cannot come to Me
unless the Father draw you.”
The crowd gathered around Jesus in today’s Gospel is asking him for a sign before they will believe. Let us instead ask God for the grace to open our hearts undemandingly to the deep gift of faith God wishes to give us.
Music: Bread of Heaven – Jessie Manibusan (Lyrics below)
Bread of heaven, Savior broken,
cup of life outpoured;
we your people thirst and hunger.
Come renew us, Lord;
come renew us, Lord.
From the mountain, blessing spoken
where we came to pray;
with the simple truth before us:
love them in my name;
love them in my name.
From the garden dark with sorrow,
from the tears you wept,
bloomed the flower of salvation:
new life born of death,
new life born of death.
From the hill where love was lifted
on the heavy wood,
flow the blood and streams of mercy
where your Mother stood,
where your Mother stood.
From the tomb that could not hold you
in the dark of night,
broke that morning of redemption,
raising us to life,
raising us to life.