Monday - Easter Time
1) Opening prayer
Our living God,
we hunger for lasting life and happiness
and the fulfilment of all our hopes.
Satisfy all our hungers
through your Son Jesus Christ,
who is our bread of life.
And when he has filled us with himself,
may he lead and strengthen us
to bring to a waiting world
the food of reconciliation and joy,
which you alone can give to the full.
We ask this thorough Christ our Lord.
Reading - John 6,22-29
Next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other
side saw that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not got into the
boat with his disciples, but that the disciples had set off by themselves.
Other boats, however, had put in from Tiberias, near the place where the bread
had been eaten.
When the people
saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats
and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other
side, they said to him, 'Rabbi, when did you come here?'
In all truth I tell you, you are looking for me not because you have seen the
signs but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat. Do not work for food
that goes bad, but work for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son
of man will give you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.
Then they said
to him, 'What must we do if we are to carry out God's work?' Jesus gave them
this answer, 'This is carrying out God's work: you must believe in the one he
• In today’s Gospel we begin the Discourse
on the Bread of Life (Jn 6, 22-71), which is extended during the next six
days, until the end of the week. After the multiplication of the loaves, the
people follow Jesus. They had seen the miracle; they had eaten and were
satiated and wanted more! They were not concerned about looking for the sign or the call of God that was contained in all of this. When the people found
Jesus in the Synagogue of Capernaum, he had a long conversation with them,
called the Discourse of the Bread of Life. It is not really a Discourse,
but it treats of a series of seven brief dialogues which explain the meaning of
the multiplication of the bread, symbol of the new Exodus and of the
• It is good to keep in mind the division
of the chapter in order to understand better its significance:
6, 1-15: the great multiplication of the
6, 16-21: the crossing of the lake, and
Jesus who walks on the water
6, 22-71: the dialogue of Jesus with the
people, with the Jews and with the disciples
1st dialogue: 6, 22-27 with the
people: the people seek Jesus and find him in Capernaum
2nd dialogue: 6, 28-34 with the
people: faith as the work of God and the manna of the desert
3rd dialogue: 6, 35-40 with the
people: the true bread is to do God’s will.
4th dialogue: 6, 41-51 with the
Jews: the complaining of the Jews
5th dialogue: 6, 52-58 with the
Jews: Jesus and the Jews.
6th dialogue: 6, 59-66 with the
disciples: reaction of the disciples
7th dialogue: 6, 67-71 with the
disciples: confession of Peter
• The conversation of Jesus with the
people, with the Jews and with the disciples is a beautiful dialogue, but a
demanding one. Jesus tries to open the eyes of the people in a way that they
will learn to read the events and discover in them the turning point that life
should take. Because it is not enough to follow behind miraculous signs which
multiply the bread for the body. Man does not live by bread alone. The struggle
for life without mysticism does not reach the roots. The people, while speaking
with Jesus, always remain more annoyed or upset by his words. But Jesus does
not give in, neither does he change the exigencies. The discourse seems to be a
funnel. In the measure in which the conversation advances, less people remain
with Jesus. At the end only the twelve remain there, but Jesus cannot trust
them either! Today the same thing happens. When the Gospel beings to demand
commitment, many people withdraw, go away.
• John 6, 22-27: People look for Jesus
because they want more bread. The people follow Jesus. They see that he did
not go into the boat with the disciples and, because of this, they do not
understand what he had done to reach Capernaum. They did not even understand
the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves. People see what has happened,
but they cannot understand all this as a sign of something more
profound. They stop only on the surface; in being satisfied with the food. They
look for bread and life, but only for the body. According to the people, Jesus
does what Moses had done in the past: to feed all the people in the desert.
According to Jesus, they wanted the past to be repeated. But Jesus asks the
people to take a step more and advance. Besides working for the bread
that perishes, they should work for the imperishable food. This new food
will be given by the Son of Man, indicated by God himself. He brings life which lasts forever. He opens for us a new horizon on the sense of life and on
• John 6, 28-29: Which is God’s work? The
people ask: what should we do to carry out this work of God? Jesus
answers that the great work of God asks us to “believe in the one sent by
God”. That is, to believe in Jesus!
4) Personal questions
• The people were hungry, they eat the
bread and they look for more bread. They seek the miracle and do not seek the
sign of God who was hidden in that. What do I seek more in my life: the miracle
or the sign?
• Keep silence within you for a moment and
ask yourself: “To believe in Jesus: What does this mean for me concretely in my
5) Concluding Prayer
Lord, I tell
you my ways and you answer me;
teach me your
Show me the way
of your precepts,
that I may
reflect on your wonders. (Ps 119,26-27)