Working for the Word

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrasesStop murmuring, taught by God, the living bread ... from heaven, live forever

To the point: Sometimes what we claim to know does not square up with reality. The Jews in the gospel think they know Jesus' origins (“the son of Joseph”) and, therefore, what he is and is not capable of doing. He commands them to “stop murmuring”—to stop limiting what they know. Only by opening themselves to be “taught by God” can they come to see who Jesus really is (“the living bread ... from heaven”). Only with this deeper knowledge can they receive the greatest gift he offers—himself, the “living bread” who brings us to “live forever” fies, the “more” they have already been given. He is “the bread of life.”

Connecting the Gospel …

… to the First Reading: The miraculous provision of bread in the wilderness sustains Elijah's physical life for the journey to Horeb, the mountain of God. Jesus offers to his disciples the food of his teaching as well as his own flesh for the journey to eternal life.

… to experience: When we love another, we open ourselves to the mystery of who that person is. In this Gospel, Jesus invites us to love him, to encounter the mystery of who he is: the “living bread” who brings us to “live forever.”


**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson