Stop the Murmuring

Have you ever received this text on your smartphone: “POS”? Probably not! Not unless you are a teen! Sometimes young people murmur against their parents when they block something the youth want to do. This text:”Parents over shoulder”, warns their friend to be careful of what they text. Parents have the wisdom of experience; they know the consequences of certain actions; “they have been there, done that”. Youth, on the other hand make judgments out of limited knowledge and a need to act on their own. Parents push young people to open themselves to deeper knowledge even though they’ve not yet had experience. In our Gospel today, Jesus pushes his hearers to go beyond their knowledge of him to a deeper experience of him

The Jews in the gospel have heard Jesus speak about himself as “the bread of life” but they cannot get beyond their limited knowledge of Jesus as the son of Joseph. For them, Jesus cannot be the living bread comer down from heaven. He commands them to stop their murmuring and open themselves to new knowledge and understanding about who he is.

It is not an easy task to be faithful disciples, to live the gospel message. It is an ever more difficult task for ourselves to teach as Jesus did. If we are to be true to our call to discipleship, we need Jesus’ words of life to bring us hope and strength.

Our challenge is not to get discouraged, but to hand ourselves over to the nourishment of word and sacrament that God offers us on our journey. That means we open ourselves to the mystery of who Jesus is as the Bread of Life.

What Are You Really Pursuing?

What brings us to pursue new ways of thinking or new ways of living? Sometimes the catalyst is startling and extraordinary. Mother Teresa changed her religious order and the direction of her ministry when she encountered poor people dying alone on the streets of Calcutta. Usually, though, the catalyst is more subtle and quite ordinary. Struggling with illness and suffering often leads us to change our perspective on what is truly valuable for us in life. Change in ways of thinking and living is a result of some kind of significant encounter with persons and events.

In our Gospel today, the crowds pursue Jesus who teaches them and leads them to a deeper encounter with him. He reveals Himself to be their shepherd and Teacher; the One who heals and cares; the One who leads them to rest and refreshment. When our pursuits lead to encounter with Jesus, new ways of thinking and living become possible.