Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Easter

John 6:30-35

The Bread of Life Discourse


In a world that caters to everything instant, it appears that we need nothing anymore but unconsciously, it asks us to look for more…more comfort…money…first hand information…power…etc.

Today’s word presents a crowd who believed that it was Moses who gave bread to their ancestors in the desert. They failed to go beyond the immediate and to see that it was the working of God. The same crowd asked Jesus for a sign, showing that they had not grasped the significance of the multiplication of the loaves (John 6:1-15). They did not understand the Jesus Himself is the Bread that sustains life…”in Him was life,” (John 1:4).

In the passages that follow, Jesus introduces Himself as the Bread of Life, one who can fully satisfy our deep longing for more, other than what the world offers us. He touches our real longing, our deep longing for life, life that is lived to the full.

Most biblical scholars consider chapter 6 of John’s gospel as the center of the entire work. It carries a movement from introducing Jesus as Wisdom to the significance of Jesus as the Bread of Life and moves on to the way to Jerusalem “that all may have life.” In the same way, this journey challenges us to know Jesus, take Him as our daily bread in the Eucharist and enflesh Him in our life-promoting relationships.

Can we make Jesus the center of our lives while living in a world that caters to other values? (Sr. Florinda Escuto, SSpS Bible Diary 2004)


It is interesting to ask people about their image of the Church. Pious people speak about the holiness of the Church, about a place of rest in the presence of the Lord. Many are more critical. They speak about the Church as always criticizing, as interfering too much in politics. Others think the Church is too powerful and rich. “Just look at those beautiful churches with all those treasures.

These answers contain a grain of truth. But seldom do people see the Church also as a suffering Church, persecuted throughout her long history until now in many countries. Forgotten also are those great figures in the Church who try to pattern their lives after Christ.

I think today’s first reading gives a realistic picture of the Church. There is Stephen. He is interfering in politics, for he speaks out against the political and religious leaders. He stands up for the truth. For that he is persecuted and killed, like so many martyrs from the first to the twelfth century. When you read his last words you cannot but realize that he patterns his death after that of Jesus, praying for his killers and offering his spirit to God. in life and in death he tried to imitate the Lord, a real disciples like the countless Christians who did so throughout Church history. Then a persecution begins but because of that the disciples stopped staying in one place, dispersed themselves all over the country and so spread the good news. So many times in Church history bad moments have turned into blessings. This should encourage us today not to abandon the Church because of scandals or bad examples. As long as we do not focus on the negative things only but, without ignoring them, try to see the Holy Spirit at work, we can contribute to the growth and spread of the Church. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


Ang importante, mahalaga!

This sounds like a stupid saying that tries to be funny. But it is neither stupid nor funny. It is serious and full of wisdom. In fact, this is what the readings of today want to convey to us. “Ang importante mahalaga!

We need reminders like this because we easily get so caught with many concerns that we often lose sight of what is truly important. We get so caught up in building the house that we forget that it is the family or the home that is important. We get so caught up in grooming ourselves when we are to meet others that we forget it is our attitude towards them or our relationship with them that it important.

The same thing happened in the time of Jesus. The Jews were so caught up with the Temple and the Law that they forgot it is the relationship with God and others that are important. They were so caught up with the manna their ancestors ate and with Moses that they forgot it was God who gave them the manna. They were so caught up with the physical life that they forgot that real life means much more than the stomach. “Ang importante mahalaga!

We are invited by today’s readings to re-examine our concerns. We are asked to re-evaluate those which have taken so much of our time and energy. We are to see if we have lost sight of our ideals and dreams.

Back to the basics. God prayers. Family. Love. Forgiveness. Jesus. (Fr. Vic Rayco, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


In an international school, some grade one pupils were trying to outdo one another as to whose “favourite sign” seems to be the best. An American kid answered with pride, “My favourite sign is the dollar. It’s the best sign there is because it is recognized as an international currency worldwide.” Then a Chinese kid rebutted, “My favourite sign is the Chinese flag. It’s the best because they could now almost find it anywhere in the market. It has a trademark saying, “Made in China.” Then a Filipino boy was asked by his international friends, “How about you, what is your favourite sign?” After s short sigh, the boy said, “My favourite sign is the cross. It signifies both our difficult lives and the hope it brings with it. Also, it is the only sign that is made in heaven.”

In today’s gospel, the Pharisees and the scribes demanded a sign from Jesus in order for them to believe. They were not yet pleased with the wonders they saw Jesus perform in their midst.

Do we find ourselves acting the same way? We are invited to understand first and foremost that God is not a magician called to perform and to satisfy our whims or even our faith. Secondly, our faith in Him ought to be our response to the already existing signs we have long received, even if we did not ask for it. The gift of life we now have which we ought to enjoy even amidst the numerous problems plaguing our society; the gift of faith; the gift of being able to receive His Son Jesus kin the Eucharist; the gift of relationships; the gift of work; or simply the gift of being able to read this Bible Diary. All these are wonderful signs that God is constantly taking care of us and has committed to do so forever. These signs should enliven our faith and encourage us to work for a better world, to be signs of love, hope and faith. Smile and be God’s beautiful signs today! (Fr. Flavie  Villanueva, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


April 12, 2016 Tuesday

A very important element in economics is customer satisfaction. In the market, given the scarcity of resources and one’s limited capacity to pay, people opt for products that bring the most satisfactory results. As a consequence, a certain relationship is created between the manufacturer and the customer. Satisfied customers keep on looking for the same products or brand that they believe guarantee their satisfaction.

The Israelites keenly believed in Moses’ manna in the desert. They were mesmerized by it and they kept on looking for the bread from heaven even until the time of Jesus. They must have really been satisfied by the value that Moses’ product offered to them. They were so trusting in the bread that saved them in a time of dire need during a certain segment of their history.

In that historical event of crossing the desert, people would not have longed for anything else than food.  Indeed, this was a basic need given the scarcity of resources in the area. When Jesus offered them something that was greater than the manna in the desert, his listeners must have been challenged, if not scandalized.

Jesus was able to connect to the listener’s important historical event and drive home a point. For the Jews, manna meant physical salvation, a basic need. Jesus used this fact as correlation to another essential need, the “bread of life,” which He personified. Jesus does not warrant physical salvation alone, but also spiritual.

In our world today, millions of people are still suffering from hunger due to environmental degradation.  The desertification of land, for example, voids the soil of nutrients which means no crop production. And no agriculture means hunger and death. This worldwide phenomenon cannot be solved with multilateral agreements alone. This calls for a genuine concern and commitment to solve the issue. We pray that we do not trade off the values of God’s Kingdom in lieu of worldly manna.

Fr. Lorz Estomo, SVD SVD Verbum House of Studies, Los Baños, Laguna



THANK YOU, CARDINALS! “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” – Acts 7:56

“White smoke!” the text message came in at 2:06 a.m. of March 14, 2013. I immediately rose up from bed and turned on the TV. Seeing the multitude of people gathered in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, jubilant at the much-awaited white smoke coming out of the chimney of Sistine Chapel, I couldn’t help but rejoice as well.

When Pope Francis came out and just stood there for a few minutes, it was like seeing Jesus being baptized at the River Jordan and hearing God’s voice saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

And when Pope Francis started speaking, I sensed a gentle and affectionate person who’s very much in touch with God in the present moment. He led the crowd in praying for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and before he gave his blessing, he asked them to pray silently for him. What humility!

I thank the Cardinal electors for listening well to the Holy Spirit and letting His voice be heard through their votes. May God continue to speak through Pope Francis, His chosen one, as he navigates the Catholic Church amidst the challenges it faces today. Tess V. Atienza (svp_tvatienza@yahoo.com)

Reflection: How do you regard the Vicar of Christ on earth? Say a prayer for him each day.

Lord, thank You for sending Pope Francis to us to lead Your Church. Keep Him in Your embrace.



1ST READING: Stephen is not going to compromise. He will not allow the people to think that they are guiltless in their ignorance. If they are ignorant of the love of God and the Gospel it is because they choose to be so. This is a sin in itself. I often talk to people who seem to want to avoid knowing too much about God lest their newfound knowledge demands that they change the way they live. This is a very unfortunate position to take as it runs the danger of missing out on the gift of salvation. Acts 7:51-8:1

GOSPEL: Jesus claims that He is the greatest of all the figures in history sent by God. For the Jews, Moses is the greatest of the ancient figures of their faith. Jesus claims that He is greater than Moses. This is one of the main themes of John’s Gospel, something that we should note as we read through it. All the figures, ideas and promises of the Old Testament will be fulfilled in the person of Jesus. This is what it means to call Him Son of God. John 6:30-35

think: All the figures, ideas and promises of the Old Testament will be fulfilled in the person of Jesus.



WHO HAS THE POWER? When we read about people looking for signs in the Scriptures, we can assume that behind the action is their search for the origin of the power behind the sign. It is not the sign that is important but what it signifies and, in this case, the people are looking for the origin of the power exercised in the creation of the sign. Too often in the Scriptures, the people attribute the power to the intermediary and not to God. Too often, the Jews focus on the person who manifests the sign or power, instead of looking up to God who, by His grace and omnipotent power, is the one at work behind all that is good.

When we focus on the messenger and not the origin of the grace received, we distort both our understanding of the immediate manifestation of the grace and our relationship with both the intermediary and God. This is not good. Our focus and energies get misdirected and misled. Jesus is constantly telling the people to look beyond Moses or Elijah or the one who is manifesting God’s Word and will to them, and focus instead on the person of God.

We have a personal God who desires to have an individual relationship with us. This is one of the beauties and wonders of Judaism and Christianity. God invites us into His presence in order to relate to us in the precise manner that we individually need. God is not some sort of amorphous power who deigns to interact with Creation every now and then. No, God is a personal God and He wants to make His way of relating to us personal. This is why He has created us in His own image and likeness — so that we are able to relate with Him on our own free will.

It is impossible to stay distant from God and be in His good graces. God is up-close and personal, whether we like it or not. The dangers of an overly devotional faith is its tendency to keep God at a distance. In any communal expression of praise and worship, the challenge is to keep our faith experience intimate and personal. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What is your relationship with God like? Are you comfortable with the idea of an up-close and personal God?

Holy Spirit, draw me into Your presence more deeply each day. Help me to open my heart and mind more fully to the blessings of a God who desires a personal relationship with me.



CRAVINGS – “Whoever comes to me will never hunger…” – John 6:35

My blood sugar level is elevated and I’ve been taking maintenance medicine for it. So, for a few years now,  I’ve been trying to control my intake of sweets and starchy food.

For some time, I was able to control it.

No soda. No junk food. Less rice. Only fruits for breakfast.

No dinner except vegetable juice.

But then the busy season at work came too soon this year.

We had a lot of company-wide activities that took some days off from work.

My responsibilities at work increased.

I received freelance jobs regularly.

And the consequence?

No more time to prepare good food at home.

Less sleep.

No time for exercise.

Less time for prayer and reflection.

And cravings, which I tried to satisfy with bad food, surfaced again.

Deep within, I know what or who I’m hungry for — God. He’s the only One who can truly satisfy my cravings. Tess V. Atienza (theresa.a@shepherdsvoice.com.ph)

Reflection: What are you hungry for? How do you satisfy it?

Lord, grant me the grace to pause amidst the busyness of life. Help me to crave for You more and more.



YES, WAIT AND NO – “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I shall raise Him on the last day.” – John 6:40

“Daddy, can I have money to buy red high-heeled shoes?” a child asked the father. He replied, “Sure, sweetie, here’s the money. Go and buy the best pair for yourself!” Another child had the same request but the dad replied, “Oh no, sweetheart, we’ll buy you a pair some other time.” A third child approached the father with the same request. The father lashed out, “N-E-V-E-R!”

Before you judge, let’s get a better understanding of the situation. The first child who asked was a daughter who was to celebrate her debut in two weeks’ time. The red high-heeled shoes was for her party. Next was his 12-year-old daughter who asked him for the same thing, so she was told to wait. The third child was his 15-year-old son. Now you understand why the daddy would never give in.

Our Heavenly Father answers us in the same way: “Yes” when our heart is right and the time is right. “Wait” when our heart is right and the time is not right. “No” when our heart is not right and the time is not right.

Only in the perspective of Jesus’ love can we understand more and follow His will. Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)

Reflection: Are you grateful when God says yes, trusting when God says wait, and graceful when God says no?

Everything makes sense in the perspective of Jesus’ mercy and grace. May You be our “Looking Glass,” O Lord.



My Reflection for Tuesday May 6, Third Week of Easter; John 6:30-35 – Reflection: One the things that I do every Sunday morning is to go to a woman stricken with cancer of the brain. I go to their house to give her the Body of Christ. What I always notice from her and her family whenever I go to their house is the respect and reverence that they give to the Body of Christ. Once I arrive the table is placed with a lighted candle so that I could now place the corporal and put my pix on it containing the Body of Christ.

All of the family members would always stop whatever they’re doing so that they could give reverence to the Body of Christ. They stand-up and join the prayers.   This family where the sick lady belongs is poor they lived in a small house that they rent. But they’re happy and there’s harmony in their house. Their happiness and harmony is brought about by the respect and reverence that they give to Jesus.

In our gospel today, after Jesus mentioned about the bread from heaven that gives life to the world. The crowd told Him “Lord, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”

Indeed, anyone who truly comes to Jesus will never be hungry and will never thirst even if they are poor based on the standard of this world. Anyone who truly comes to Jesus will have harmony in their house even if they’re poor based once again on the standard of this world.  (Marino J. Dasmarinas)



Reflection: I’ve been an extra-ordinary minister of the Holy Communion since 1999 and through these years I’ve brought the Body of Christ to the sick. In fact at present there is a middle-aged lady whom I regularly visit every week to give her the Body of Christ.

One common denominator that I’ve noticed with all of them is they all have an aura of peace and calmness ever since they received the Body of Christ. Hard to believe but this is true: Jesus gives them peace, calmness even an extension of their earthly journey by giving of Himself to them through the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Except for the one that I regularly visit every week right now they all have died already. They died in peace, they died being nourished by the giver of the Bread of life, Jesus Himself!

Jesus in our gospel tells you: I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35). Do you want to prove this assertion of Jesus? Whenever you attend Holy Mass receive with piety and reverence the bread of life which is Jesus.

Always do this whenever you are at Holy Mass and be docile to the will of Jesus for you and notice the miracle that Jesus will make in your life. Perhaps there would be change in your behaviour from being arrogant you now will become humble. Perhaps a miraculous cure from sickness and so on, all of these courtesy of Jesus the eternal bread of life. – Marino J. Dasmarinas



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Reflection for April 12, Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter; John 6:30-35

Reflection: Would you be willing to give your very life for Jesus?

In our first reading Saint Stephen was killed because of his unending profession of faith in Jesus. He could have saved his life if he did not proclaim his love for Jesus but he chose to boldly say it, thus he was stoned to death.

What a price to pay for professing his faith and love for his God. But this is the reality with our discipleship with Jesus. If we really are true and faithful followers we will not hesitate to give a certain part of our life or even our own life for our love for Jesus.

Every now and then there will be instances wherein the steadfastness of our faith in Jesus will be tested. It may not cost our life anymore; perhaps the test of our commitment to Jesus may come through many forms of temptations and trials. Would we still be faithful to Jesus amidst our temptations and trials?

It’s really not easy to follow Jesus, some of us may have already given up on Jesus and we instead chose to follow the many temptations of this world.

But if we will not follow Jesus and if we will not sacrifice a part of ourselves for the kingdom of God, who are we going to follow? We follow the enemy of God and the master manipulator which is no other than the Devil? – Marino J. Dasmarinas



TUESDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF EASTER (YEAR B) – JUAN 6:30-35. UNSA MAN ANG MAGHATAG KANATO’G TINUOD NGA KATAGBAWAN? Ang pagkaon makabusog, pero dili makahatag og katagbawan. Human sa pipila ka oras gutomon na usab kita ug mangita’g laing pagkaon. Bisan ang kwarta dili makatagbaw sa tawo. Ginaingon nga ang kwarta sama sa tubig sa dagat. “The more you drink of it, the thirstier you become.” Magkadaghan ang imong kwarta, magkadako ang imong panginahanglan niini. Si Kristo miingon: “Ako mao ang pan sa kinabuhi; ang moari kanako dili gutomon ug ang motuo kanako dili gayod uhawon.” Nga sa ato pa, diha lamang sa pagdawat ug pagsunod kaniya atong maangkon ang tinuod nga kalipay ug katagbawan. Matod pa sa usa ka magsusulat, “The only one who can truly satisfy the human heart is the One who made it.”Posted by Abet Uy




Tuesday, April 12

Acts 7:51-8:1; Jn 6:30-35

Key to the Eternal Life

At the time of Jesus, each aspect of the daily life a Jew was guided by the Mosaic Law. There were laws to govern social life, religious life, and cultural life. Laws dictated what they must do while in the field, war, family, synagogue and so on. Still Jesus saw them lacking one thing even though they were not far from the Kingdom of God (Mk 12:34). It was because they could not see God who is the source of all these laws. They saw Abraham as father of faith but failed to experience God who is the source of this faith. They saw Moses as one who gave the laws, but failed to see God who inscribed these laws in their hearts. No wonder that in today’s Gospel they spoke of receiving manna from the Moses.

Jesus gives them the key to the eternal life. It is nothing else but to see everything in life as the gift of God. Manna was not given by Moses but was the gift of Heavenly Father.

In our daily lives there are hundreds of things for which we must be grateful to God. Because as St. Paul says, we do not have anything that we didn’t receive as a gift (I Cor 4:7). The gratefulness towards the giver of the gift helps us to have strong personal relationship with Him. It helps us to live in His presence always as the gift reminds us of the giver of the gift. The gratefulness towards the giver of the gift will keep us humble and obedient to the giver. The realisation that ‘our-life-is- a-gift-from-the-giver’ will inspire us to share our life with our brothers and sisters.

In short, the gratefulness towards God is the key to the eternal life. Fr. Johnson Bezalel CMI



April 12, 2016

REFLECTION: It would be interesting to undertake a comparative statistical study along the following lines: how many famous entertainers, millionaires, socialites and hedonists have committed suicide during the past ten years? And, in comparison, during the same period of time how many contemplative religious have committed suicide? Judging from newspaper reports, it would seem that a lot of people of the first category commit suicide and that practically no one of the second category does. Why is that so?

The answer to this question is found in today’s gospel reading. There we hear Jesus declare about himself: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty.”

We are made for the Infinite, for God. Only God can make us happy. Countless people have testified to this truth throughout the ages. As Teresa of Avila states: “God alone satisfies.” Everything else leaves us hungry. When will we believe the statistics?


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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