After Jesus leaves the crowd and goes up the mountain alone, the disciples struggle to reach the other side: "The sea was rough because of the strong wind blowing.". Jesus walks on the water, catches up with them, gets into the boat, and "at once the boat came ashore".. The crowd interested in Jesus makes an inquiry to know which path he has taken. They are determined not to lose sight of this Master who cures diseases and solves the problem of bread: they ate the barley loaves and the fish that never ran out, distributed by Jesus, which multiplied without spectacle in their baskets, in their hands.
They go with the ships to Capernaum and find him: "Master, when did you get here?". Superficial question: they are only interested in understanding how it escaped their control. Curious question, which does not serve to deepen the truth about Jesus and what happened the day before. Jesus does not respond to curiosity, but tries to help them to search in themselves the real reason why they are looking for him: "you have had your fill" of bread, free, good, no work. They want to eat more. Jesus, however, is interested in the hunger and desire for bread that he sees in these men: he proposes to transform it into a desire for the true bread of heaven. So he takes up the argument he had wanted to begin for a long time, taking his cue from the sign of the bread that never runs out: "Work not for the food that is consumed but for the food that endures to eternal life.". Listen to "eternal life"and ask the master what work can be appreciated as God's work.
Jesus overlooks their pharisaical question, and speaks to them of faith: to believe in him, this is the work of God. Those who have seen the miracle of the five loaves and two fish that fed thousands of people, ask him for a sign to believe. They are superficial, materialistic, moralistic, unbelieving. They provoke him by speaking of the manna in the desert, as a sign given by Moses. Jesus corrects them: the manna came from God and not from Moses, and then reveals that God intends to give them bread that comes down from heaven and gives them life.
Now the desire to receive this bread is born in them. Then Jesus declares that he himself is the bread of life, and that whoever believes in him will never hunger or thirst. He tries to help them transform that hunger for earthly bread into the desire for the bread that he will give for eternal life, which is him. Divine food that allows us to carry out the works of God on earth, to live in us the life, death, resurrection and ascension of the Son of God. We admire in Jesus the tenacity in proposing the truth, the trust in people in spite of their closure. We wish to nourish ourselves with the bread of life in order to be able to live his life in our life.
The homily on the readings of Sunday 18th Sunday
The priest Luis Herrera Campo offers its nanomiliaa small one-minute reflection for these readings.