The Gospel Today
Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
Jesus said to the crowds,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”
Reflection (Sem. Jul Elden Nuique)
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” (Jn. 6, 37-38)Jesus did not leave the Father’s side, incarnate Himself as one of us, minister for three years, suffer and die on the cross, and resurrect after three days just because He felt like it. All our Lord did was in obedience to His Father.
Why do we do things? Most of the time, it is to respond to our needs. These needs are not limited to physical needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and security. More often, the needs to which we respond come from intangible sources, such as the need for acceptance, achievement, and self-actualization. In the heart of all of these is our unshakeable, sometimes unrecognized, self-centeredness.
We are Christians, sharing in the status of our Lord as children of God through the sacrament of baptism. When Jesus says that He is “the bread of life,” He recognizes and fulfills all our needs and wants. The Father who has sent Him from heaven is the same Father who loves us and takes care of all our necessities. In return, all that Our Father asks is that we “love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.” (cf. Mt. 22, 37-39)God asks us to move out of ourselves; no longer do we need to be afraid of “what we are to eat or drink or wear” (cf. Mt. 6, 25)for He loves us more than any earthly father.
The newness of Easter, even if we have celebrated it for more than two thousand years, is the powerlessness of death, which humanity has long feared and has fought to stave off. Easter also shows the magnificent example of Christ, who has done all things in obedience to the will of the Father. Our Savior, as fully human as we are, proves that we have been given all that we need to be loving to one another. We can only step out of our self-centeredness when we see the truth that God is our loving Father, that we are His children, and that we are lovable and capable of love.