18th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Published on 26 Jul 2021
a loaf of bread

Christ, the Bread of Life

Draw near to your servants, O Lord,

and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness,

that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide,

you may restore what you have created

and keep safe what you have restored.

This is the first of several Sunday Gospels where we contemplate Jesus’s teaching on the bread of life. It follows last week’s account of the feeding of the five thousand.

The First Reading tells us of the hungry, grumbling Israelites in the desert and the gift of manna that God sends them.

The Psalm echoes this event, ‘he gave them manna from heaven. Mere mortals ate the bread of angels’.

The message of the Second Reading, following the sections from Ephesians, links in with the new way of life demanded when we follow the discipleship of Jesus.

In the Gospel, the crowd have been searching for Jesus, perhaps wanting more of the physical bread he has given them. Jesus’s teaching appeals to their deeper, spiritual hunger.

In our prayer this week, we can turn to God, knowing that, whatever the situation, he will always provide for his people.

May it lead us also to a greater appreciation of the Eucharist.

Learn that I, the Lord, am your God.      First Reading

Mere mortals ate the bread of angels.    Responsorial Psalm

I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.     Gospel

This week’s texts if you want to explore further:

Exodus 16: 2–4, 12–15; Psalm 77 (78); Ephesians 4: 17, 20–24; John 6: 24–35

Download the full reflection below