Ex 16:2-4,12-15; Ps 78; Eph 4:17, 20-24; Jn 4:17, 20-24
By Bro. Errol Salcedo, CJM
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
In this time of health and socio-economic crisis, most of us are after our physical and bodily concerns. We will see to it that we have food supplies during the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ). We also see to it that our family members are safe and secure. However, the essential question to ask ourselves is, “Did we prepare ourselves spiritually?” Oftentimes, we place our psycho-emotional and spiritual well-being as a second option. Hence, most of us during this pandemic get anxious and depressed and some of us get suicide.
This 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time invites us to reflect on the fidelity of God from the beginning and until the end and His invitation to be faithful in the midst of difficulty and trials. God hears our cries and prayers. Hence, we are invited to trust in His divine plan for us. Our First Reading, from the Book of Exodus (Ex. 16:2-4,12-15), affirms the assurance of God to provide food to the people as long as they believe and follow His instructions. “Mαn Hύ” which means what is this? becomes the tangible sign that YHWH hears their prayers and journeys with them all the time. The Second Reading on the other hand reminds us to transform our old ways and desires and renew in the life and spirit of Christ through our baptism. In this way, we become the children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ Jesus. The Gospel also reminds us to work for the food that endures eternal life. Whoever believes in Jesus, whom the Father had sent, will have life eternal.
Thus, the readings are a great reminder that our God is always with us. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is a great reminder that God chose to live and die for us so that we may live and attain everlasting life. The Holy Eucharist is one of the many tangible signs that God is always with us. This pandemic challenges us to receive Jesus in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, but it will not hinder us to “believe” that He is the One sent by God to satisfy our hunger and thirst for holiness and truth.