The crowds in last week’s Gospel had faith in Jesus, and at the same time they doubted him. In today’s Gospel, the Jews doubt that Jesus is who he says he is. They know that he is the son of Joseph and Mary, but they cannot explain—and therefore have a hard time believing—that he had come down from heaven.
Reflection for Parents
Like the Jews in today’s Gospel, most children and youth have a hard time believing and trusting what they cannot see. For example, they cannot see that a choice that seems easy and fun and good today will bear negative consequences for them in the future. Like Jesus, we must remain consistent and persistent in saying what we know to be true. Our words may be met with doubt and resistance, but they serve to remind our children of the Gospel values and expectations we uphold. Today, take time to think about where you need to stand firm and remain consistent and persistent as a parent.
Bringing the Good News Into Your Family
Have a family meeting during which you discuss expectations. Begin with a simple open-ended statement such as, “I expect my parent(s) to . . .” or “I expect my children to . . .” As ideas are given, make a list for parents and a list for children. Review the lists with the family, then vote on the top five expectations on each list. Create two final lists to post on the family fridge or bulletin board. Let these serve as a reminder and as an invitation to family members to be consistent in honoring your family’s values and expectations of one another.
- Something I have a hard time believing is . . .
- I think it’s easy to believe something is true when . . .
- One thing I believe about our family is . . .
- One thing I believe about God is . . .
This weekend’s Gospel focuses our attention on our faith in Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist. Jesus is the bread of life. He gives us his Body and Blood as bread so that we may have eternal life. When we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, our lives begin to reflect the reality that our communion with Jesus prepares in us. Our Eucharist leads us to live as people of the promise, confident that we will one day share the fullness of life with God.
As you gather as a family, talk about our hope that one day we will share eternal life with God in heaven. This hope can transform the way we live our daily lives, calling us to be people of hope and expectation. In today’s Gospel, Jesus promises us this gift of eternal life in the Eucharist. Read together today’s Gospel, John 6:41-51. Observe that Jesus taught us that those who listen to God know that Jesus has been sent by God for the life of the world. Jesus fulfills this promise to us through his passion, death, and Resurrection. He gives us the gift of himself in the Eucharist, which is his Body and Blood, given so that we may have eternal life. Conclude in prayer together asking God to increase our faith in Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist. Pray together the Act of Faith.
[from Loyola Press Sunday Connection]