Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
Acts 8:1-8 + John 6:35-40
“… whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.”
One benefit of attending weekday Mass is how the experience of Sunday Mass is more enriching. During Easter this is even more true. The Scripture readings of weekday Masses especially tend to dovetail with those of Sunday Masses.
Starting last Friday and continuing through this Saturday, the Gospel passage at weekday Mass is from John Chapter Six. This chapter culminates in Jesus’ teaching about His Real Presence in the Eucharist. In this coming Sunday’s Gospel passage, Jesus describes Himself as the Good Shepherd. Through these Scripture passages, we can deepen our faith in Christ by understanding more deeply who He is for us.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus first states, “I am the bread of life”, emphasizing His Eucharistic doctrine. But about two-thirds of the way through the passage, He focuses upon the sort of action a shepherd carries out. He states: “this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me”.
As we read, and re-read John Chapter Six, we become aware of how Our Lord is weaving together several different truths about Himself. He does this in order to deepen our love for Him, and faith in Him. In these two truths—Jesus as the Bread of Life, and Jesus as the Shepherd who sacrifices Himself for us—we see why Holy Mother Church calls us to see Jesus as “our All”. The Church, in one of the prefaces at Mass for Easter, likewise chants the following to God the Father: “By the oblation of His Body, / [Jesus] brought the sacrifices of old to fulfillment / in the reality of the Cross / and, by commending Himself to You for our salvation, / showed Himself the Priest, the Altar, and the Lamb of sacrifice.”