Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection April 15, 2024


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R/. Blessed are those walk in the law of the Lord.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

R/. Alleluia.

[After five thousand men had eaten their fill, the disciples of Jesus saw him walking on the sea.] On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the lake saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

1.      Evil is always against good, falsity is against truth and Satan’s way is always against God’s way. That is why, those who were religiously stubborn and distorted could not tolerate Stephen who was filled with God’s grace, power of the Spirit, and wisdom, and was preaching God’s way and doing wonders and miracles.

2.      Their blameworthy human knowledge could not stand before his Spirit-filled proclamation. So, crookedly they fabricated false witnesses, blamed him for blasphemy, and stood him as an accused before the Council. What hypocrisy!

3.      The main purpose of the preaching and miracles of Jesus was to reignite in the people the power of wisdom to discern and enable them to follow the right values. Why? People are not still able to distinguish between material and spiritual, temporal and eternal, perishable life and imperishable life, cheap works and divine signs. They are lacking the wisdom to discern. Consequently, they are inclined and succumb to what are worldly, temporary, and showy displays.

4.      That is why Jesus is sternly warning: it is futile to toil for what is perishing, the food that can fill the stomach and satisfy only for a while. Rather strive for imperishable food that gives eternal life. Only God and the Son anointed and sent by God can give it. Therefore it is wise to trust Him totally.

5.      The people who had stomach-full searched for Jesus with motives of physical satisfaction and temporary gain. So the Lord admonished them to turn and raise their sight, and perspective and search for higher motives and realm.

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