Our site uses cookies to improve the user experience and we recommend accepting its use to take full advantage of the navigation

A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

View other days:

Liturgical day: Tuesday 3rd of Easter

1st Reading (Acts 7:51–8,1): Stephen said to the people, the elders, and the scribes: «You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the Holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become. You received the law as transmitted by angels, but you did not observe it».

When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him. But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and Stephen said: «Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God». But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together. They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, «Lord Jesus, receive my spirit». Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, «Lord, do not hold this sin against them»; and when he said this, he fell asleep. Now Saul was consenting to his execution.
Responsorial Psalm: 30
R/. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety. You are my rock and my fortress; for your name's sake you will lead and guide me.

Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, o Lord, o faithful God. My trust is in the Lord; I will rejoice and be glad of your mercy.

Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your kindness. You hide them in the shelter of your presence from the plottings of men.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Jn 6:35): Alleluia. I am the bread of life, says the Lord; whoever comes to me will never hunger. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Jn 6,30-35): The people said to Jesus, «Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe you. What sign do you perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says: ‘They were given bread from heaven to eat’». Jesus then said to them, «Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread God gives is the One who comes from heaven and gives life to the world». And they said to him, «Give us this bread always». Jesus said to them, «I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty».

«My Father gives you the true bread from heaven»

Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García
(Sant Quirze del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today in Jesus' words we can see both the differentiation and counterpart existing between the Old and the New Testaments: the Old Testament was an expectation of the New Testament and in the New Testament, God's promises to the fathers of the Old Testament are being fulfilled. Thus, the manna the Israelis ate in the desert was not the authentic bread from Heaven, but an anticipated image of the true bread that God, our Father, has given us in the person of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent to us as Saviour of the world. Moses begs for God to give the Israelis physical victuals; Jesus Christ, instead, has given Himself for us as that divine aliment yielding life.

«Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe you. What sign do you perform?» (Jn 6:30), the Jews ask unbelieving and irreverent. Do they perhaps consider meaningless the sign of the multiplication of the bread and fish Jesus had accomplished the previous day? Why did they want yesterday to proclaim Jesus as a king while today they do not want to believe him anymore? How often can the human heart change! St. Bernard of Clairvaux said: «It is so that these impious ones wander in a circle, longing after something to gratify their yearnings, yet madly rejecting that which alone can bring them to their desired end, not by exhaustion but by attainment». And so it happened that those Jews, engulfed by a materialistic vision, expected someone who would nourish them and would solve all their problems, but they did not want to believe; this is all they desired out of Jesus. Is not this the idea of he who is only interested in a comfortable religion, tailor-made and without any commitment?

«Lord, give us this bread always» (Jn 6:34): that I may say these words, pronounced by the Jews from their materialistic look at life, with the sincerity faith provides us with; that they truly mean a desire to nurture myself with Jesus Christ and to live closely united to Him forever.