Readings for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost

John 6:22-35; Ephesians 4:1-16; Exodus 16:2-15

“Snickers really satisfies you!” So promised a certain candy bar commercial from my childhood. The ad featured a series of shots of hungry-looking grown ups each biting enthusiastically into a Snickers bar as a look of serene contentment came over their faces. But the candy bars of 30 years ago apparently weren’t quite satisfying enough. Many of them have since doubled in size.

 Are you satisfied with the life you’re living now? Do you know the source of your satisfaction – or lack of it? These are questions all of us should be prompted to ask by this week’s readings. 

The wandering Israelites grumble about lack of food in the desert, wishing they were back under Egyptian slavery. The LORD hears their grumbling and responds graciously with a daily supply of meat and bread. But the miracle is also a test. Will an abundance of food lead to an abundance of faith (Ex 16)?

In a closely related New Testament text, Jesus offers himself to the hungry crowds as the very Bread of Life sent from heaven. Will they be able to distinguish this Bread that offers eternal joys from the loaves of bread that fed them for a day (John 6)?

St. Paul admonishes us to live in a manner that reflects our calling as members of the body of Christ. These are the elements of Christian “Body-building”: humility, gentleness, patience, love, unity. No, they won’t necessarily improve the way you look in the eyes of others. But they will benefit the God’s Church as a whole, and bring glory to the One who has saved your eternal soul (Eph 4).