Sunday, 26 July 2009

A start of chapter 6 of John's Gospel

This week I post just a note to calibrate that I am half way through the course! I had the opportunity to accompany Fr. John Walsh OP Saturday to Newbridge College and took this opportunity happily to have a change of scene and to try and to refresh a bit to hit the next set of four weeks...

As I am only back now I feel it is a bit late to write a reflection on the gospel we had today (and off course I haven't done my homework for tomorrow, but am not even going to think of that, it is Sunday!).

The Gospel is taken from Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John (6:1-15). One of the important messages of these few verses is that faith in Jesus is the important thing, and that even sometimes we might be tested in our faith as "this he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do." (Joh 6:6 RSV).

However, I would like to draw your attention to a few verses earlier, where the tone for the chapter is set as it were. We read that a multitude is following Jesus and that "Jesus went up on the mountain, and there sat down with his disciples"  (Joh 6:3 RSV). Jesus went up the mountain, the place to teach his followers as he did in the sermon of the mount (cf. Mat 5:1). Then he sat down, the traditional way of teaching with authority. When a Jewish Rabbi was teaching he was often walking around or standing, but when he was teaching officially, he sat to teach. This is a first sings that something important is going to happen. Next it is mentioned that "the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand" (Joh 6:4 RSV), the Jewish feast of the unleavened bread...

We get the multiplication of the loaves, but this is only to lead up to a much more important teaching... a teaching which can and should have a big impact on our daily lives. Hopefully I get a chance next week to reflect on this point more next week as we will continue to read from this chapter, and in the meantime, it would be very good to read ahead this week and meditate on the 6th chapter of John's Gospel, as it is very deep!

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