Scripture Reflections – Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Ex 16:2-4; 12-15    Eph 4:17; 20-24; Jn 6: 24-35

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

Sometime, probably in sub-Saharan Africa about  100, 000 years or so ago, it happened.  Maybe it happened in several places at once.  Anatomically modern homo sapiens acquired Consciousness.

We have yet to recover from the shock.  That same evolutionary gift that gave us the possibility of walking with God in relationship was , in the words of Annie Dillard, “a birthday present that cut us off at both ends” .  What she means is that consciousness marked us as distinct from the rest of the natural world from which we had evolved and gave us the terrifying sense that we were at the mercy of forces far beyond our control or understanding.  Radical loneliness, in other words.

You could say that our essential “hunger and thirst” ever since has been for a sense of belonging and purpose, a longing we can satisfy in a limited way through family and friends and meaningful work, but not completely.   Somewhere at the very core of our being is a deeper yearning that tells us we were created to be a part of something greater.  “Our hearts are restles until they rest in you, O Lord,” St. Augustne said.

And then came Jesus – the bread of life.  Through him, with him and in him, finally we are fed and satisfied.

Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)

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