The crowd in this weekend’s Gospel showed faith in Jesus. They got into boats and traveled to find him. They called him Rabbi, meaning “Teacher.” But at the same time, they had some doubts. They wanted some sign from Jesus that would prove once and for all who he was and what he could do. Jesus tells them again that the sign they seek is in their midst, for he is the bread sent from heaven. He is the bread of life.
Reflection for Parents
How many times has your child said to you, “Prove it to me”? And how many times have you yourself said the same? This is basically what the crowds are saying to Jesus today—“Prove it to us. Give us a sign that we might believe in you.” Every day God gives us signs that he loves us, cares for us, forgives us, and is with us. We see and hear these signs in creation, in the generous actions of a friend, in the kind words of a stranger, and in the community of believers that is the Church. Take time to reflect on the signs of God’s love that you have seen or heard in recent days. Think about how you can be that sign in the week to come to others around you.
Bringing the Good News Into Your Family
Provide for family members large unlined index cards or half sheets of construction paper, crayons or markers, popsicle sticks, and strong tape or glue. Invite family members to use the index cards or construction paper to create mini-signs using drawings or words to describe where they have seen God’s presence in recent days. Use the tape or glue to attach popsicle sticks to the signs. Display the signs in a large flowerpot or bowl filled with sand or floral foam that will serve as an anchor for the popsicle sticks. Encourage family members to continue to make signs to add to the display in the coming week.
- A person who is a sign of God’s presence to me is . . .
- Someone I know who needs a sign of God’s presence is . . .
- One way I can be a sign of God’s presence this week is . . .
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In this weekend’s Gospel, the crowd asks Jesus for a sign so that they can believe that he has come from God. This is a curious request, because Jesus has just fed more than 5000 people with just five barley loaves and two fish. How quickly they seem to have forgotten the wonderful thing that Jesus has done for them. Or, maybe they never recognized the miracle in the first place. Sometimes we don’t recognize the wonderful things that God has done for us. And, sometimes, we simply forget and ask for further evidence of his love and care. We pray that God will remove our blindness so that we can receive with thanks and praise all the wonderful things that God accomplishes in our lives.
Together as a family, name the wonderful gifts that God has given you and some of the remarkable deeds that God has accomplished in our world. Observe that it is important to stop to count our blessings because we can easily miss recognizing all of the wonderful things that God does for us. Read together today’s Gospel, John 6:24–35. Ask: Why are the people seeking out Jesus? (because he has fed them) What do they want from Jesus? (a sign that he has come from God) What does Jesus tell them? (He says that he will give them something greater and more important than the bread that fed their physical hungers; he will give them bread that will give them eternal life.) Recall that we have this gift from Jesus in the Eucharist. Pray together, thanking God for all that he has given to us, especially for the gift of eternal life and the Eucharist. Pray together the Magnificat.
[from Loyola Press Sunday Connection]