The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter is John 6:30-35.

After setting the stage by the Feeding of the 5000, walking across the Sea of Galilee and then engaging a crowd who sailed across the Sea to find Him, Christ begins the Sermon on The Bread of Life (John 6:30-59), the truth that the Eucharist is truly Christ’s Body and Blood. Christ has rebuked the crowd for their failure to see His signs and their emphasis on physical food and then promised them supernatural food that will prepare them for eternal life.

Not yet recognizing Christ’s divinity, suspecting that He is a prophet perhaps even greater than Moses, they recall Christ’s rebuke for not perceiving His “signs.” Despite actually participating in the miraculous sign of the Feeding of the 5000 and witnessing Christ’s mysterious crossing of the Sea of Galilee without a boat, they challenge Christ to perform yet another “sign.” Ironically, despite receiving miraculous bread at the Feeding of the 5000 which is prefigured in the Israel’s feasting on manna during the Exodus, they challenge Christ to perform another miracle like Moses who “gave them bread from Heaven to eat.”

Christ, who as a Person of the Trinity actually gave the manna in the desert, patiently corrects their erroneous thinking about the source of the manna. Christ reveals that His Father, not Moses, is the provider of the true bread from Heaven, a bread that gives life to the world. Not yet grasping Christ’s spectacular claim that He is the the Son of God and not yet realizing that Christ Himself, in His Body and Blood, is the bread that has come down from Heaven, the people call Him “Lord” (a term of reverence, but not acknowledgment of His Divinity) and ask for some of this mysterious bread. Christ then drops a bombshell, revealing that He is the bread of life and that men who believe in Him will never thirst or hunger again.

Awed by Jesus Christ –  Person of the Trinity, Christ is with the Father from the beginning and provides Moses with manna. Son of God, Christ mysteriously alludes to the fact that God is His Father and that He has come down from Heaven. Divine Prophet, Christ is compared to, but infinitely exceeds the greatest of prophets, Moses. Divine Teacher, Christ patiently corrects the ignorant and aggressive crowd.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ makes astounding claims. Consider your reaction today if a man said to you, “I am the Son of God.”

2) The readings during Easter proclaim the Good News that God the Father has sent His Son to save and give abundant life to you, your family and all people willing to accept His most gracious gift. During Easter, let the Good News (CCC 422-424, 606, 2824) sink deeply into your mind and heart and be grateful that Christ has given you faith. Pray for more.

3) From the Creation of the world, God’s great plan of Salvation History ascends towards the coming of the Kingdom with Christ fulfilling all prophecies and revealing the meaning of events from the Old Testament; for example, the manna given during the Exodus prefigures the perfection of the Eucharist. During Easter, be awed by the Unity of the Old and New Testaments (CCC 128-130, 1094) and ask Christ to help you continually grow in your understanding and awe of His work in Salvation History.