Gospel for April 24, 2012, Tuesday

Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

Posted at Apr 24 2012 05:43 AM | Updated as of Apr 24 2012 01:45 PM

3rd Week of Easter
Fidelis of Sigmaringen

1st Reading: Acts 7:51—8:1
Stephen said, “But you are a stubborn people, you hardened your hearts and closed your ears. You have always resisted the Holy Spirit just as your fathers did. Was there a prophet whom your ancestors did not persecute? They killed those who announced the coming of the Just One whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the Law through the angels but did not fulfill it.”
When they heard this reproach, they were enraged and they gnashed their teeth against Stephen. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus at God’s right hand, so he declared: “I see the heavens open and the Son of Man at the right hand of God.”
But they shouted and covered their ears with their hands and rushed together upon him. They brought him out of the city and stoned him, and the witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen prayed saying: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and said in a loud voice: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he died. Saul was there, approving his murder. This was the beginning of a great persecution against the Church in Jerusalem.

Gospel: John 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.”

It is the ordinariness of bread that is so astonishing! Jesus wants to be ordinary for us. “A very precious relic,” wrote Meister Eckhart, “is not willingly allowed to be touched or seen. Therefore He clothed Himself in the cloak of the likeness of bread, just as my bodily food is transformed by my soul, so that no corner of my nature is not united with it… There is not so much as a needle’s point that is not united with it. What I ate a fortnight ago is as much one with my soul as what I received in my mother’s womb. So it is that whoever receives this food purely becomes as truly one with it as my flesh and blood are one with my soul.”

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