“I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”

A brief sermon/reflection for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity Year B – 2021

The readings for this Sunday are for those of Trinity 10:

  • 1 Kings 19. 4-8

  • Psalm 34. 1-8

  • Ephesians 4. 25 – 5.2

  • John 6. 35, 41-51

You might like to use the link below to find the above readings, and click on any of the reading above that you wish to use: http://www.katapi.org.uk/CommonWorship/CWLectionarySelV.php

Collect of the day

Let us first spend a few moments in silence to centre ourselves,
to gather ourselves in our souls,
to come before the Lord just as we are with our joys and sorrows,
our hopes and our fears, our loves and our pains.
Let us just focus our minds and hearts on Jesus who is the answer for every problem.
Let us pray that the Spirit will work through our lives
to bring Christ to the world.

Silence is kept

Let your merciful ears, O Lord,
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such things as shall please you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

A more personalised Prayer of the Day

Most loving and dear heavenly Father,
you love us so much that you have sent your own son
Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord;
In him you give us hope for living on this earth
and hope also of living eternally in heaven;
as we listen to the words of your son today
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6.51)
help us to turn to Jesus as our real life-giving food
that fills our hearts and our spirits
and find in him the answer
for all our questions, problems and anguishes;
help us to re-discover Jesus your Son
and renew our lives in him,
life now and life for ever.
We make this prayer for Jesus’s sake.

Amen

Post Communion

God of our pilgrimage,
you have willed that the gate of mercy
should stand open for those who trust in you:
look upon us with your favour
that we who follow the path of your will
may never wander from the way of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen.

Prayer before the Sermon

Loving Heavenly Father,
we thank you for the words you have given us today.
We know they are words of life and salvation.
Open our hearts Father, touch our souls,
forgive us our sins especially our lack of faith,
help us to respond to your word.
May we know that you are our Lord and Saviour
who promises us the power from on high,
your Holy Spirit.
May we experience in our hearts your love
and your presence always.

Amen.

A homily based on the readings of today is given below:

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven”

(John 6. 51)

  1. We have the astonishing as the words he utters today and that which we have heard.

“I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.”(John 6.35)

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6.51)

  1. Let us try to understand the words of Jesus in the context of our life in the world.

Jesus tells us today that he is the ‘living bread’ that came down from heaven.

Food is one thing that we all know sustains our life on earth. Food nourishes our body and our life. We cannot live without food.

In the world today, we see a sharp contrast of excess food and lack of food. On the one hand there is an excess production, consumption and waste of food. On the other hand, there is the spectre of excess poverty, food shortage, malnutrition and death.

Food is vital to live a normal healthy life. It is absolutely essential. Otherwise we die. It is in this context of the absolute necessity of food to nourish our lives that Jesus says:

 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”

In other words, we need the true bread, the spiritual food that is Jesus.

  1. We know that Jesus went about doing good, preaching, teaching, visiting people, healing people. Twice he multiplied the loaves, once 5000 and another time 4000 and cared for those who were physically hungry. And he wants us to do the same where we can to reach out and feed the hungry and the poor.

  2. We can understand the Word of God today in two ways: in a spiritual way and in a sacramental way.

  3. In a spiritual way: Jesus gives himself to us as our real spiritual food. On the one hand, the world offers pleasures, attractions, satisfactions, temptations, excitement, enjoyments but it is not free. All this offer of 3for 2 or 2 for 1 etc we know are commercial tricks to make us buy things. On the other hand, Jesus Jesus gives himself to us. “God so loved the world that he sent his only son so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.” (John 3.16) Eternal life is free.

  4. In a sacramental way: That is Jesus gives himself in the form of real bread and real wine as his body and his blood for us to partake of in the Holy Communion or Holy Eucharist or Mass as we call this sacrament. That is what we are doing today. Celebrating the sacramental giving of Jesus to us.

  5. Following Jesus means carrying our daily crosses and obeying his commandment to love one another and to care for each other and always to have a compassionate and caring heart for the weak, the poor, the disadvantaged, the vulnerable, the need. Because Jesus also told us: “Whatever you do to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do it to me.” (Mt. 25.40)

  6. Jesus “the living bread” that gives life to the world. Jesus clearly tells the crowd that follows him that he is not merely speaking about earthly food but rather about something more significant. He is simply and directly telling us that he himself is, and ought to be, our real food, our real drink.

  7. We have deep-seated longings of our souls, our spirits. There is a part of us that is physical and material; but there is also a part of us that is spiritual and only he can fulfil and satisfy that part of our inner selves.

  8. It doesn’t matter where we come from a Methodist, Baptist, Brethren, Pentecostal, RC, or whatever. What really matters is that we believe in Jesus, that we belong to Jesus, that we follow Jesus.

  9. No matter what we do, where we go, however much we strive, Jesus wants to tells us that the visible, material world cannot fully satisfy our deepest needs. In short, Jesus is telling us today : Only God can satisfy your deepest needs and with him you will have everything.

  10. Christian life is living in Jesus, abiding in Jesus. The Word of God clearly challenges us to turn to God, to turn to Jesus Christ as our real food, as our real drink, in the sense of making Christ the centre of our lives, in the sense of giving faith in Christ the absolute dominion in our lives.

  11. Allow me to conclude with the words of Jesus again: “I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.” (John 6.35). “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6.51)

  12. Jesus is your real, living bread for your soul. He is the answer to all life’s riddles and puzzles. All that you need to do is to trust him, to believe in him and to decide to follow him and his commandment to love one another. That is the one thing he invites you to do – to believe in him. Eternal life is yours and that life starts here on earth as you live your daily life! It is the glow of hope that burns in your soul, the assurance that with God in your heart you have nothing to fear but surprises of his healing, saving love that fills your heart! No wonder Thomas, Jesus’s doubting disciple, blurted out: “My Lord and my All (God)!” (John 20.28)

Let us Pray… Pause to pray….

A further Prayer you can say now:

Lord Jesus,
I believe you are the Son of God.
Thank you for becoming one of us.
Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.
Thank you for rising from the dead
to give me hope and the gift of eternal life.

I repent of my sins
and invite you into heart and life
as my Lord and Saviour.
Please grant me your Holy Spirit
so that I may know you, love you
and follow you every day of my life.

Amen.

[Revd Dr ST Mattapally, Rector, Springline Parish, Diocese of Lincoln]