John Connelly


Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 9, 2015
1 Kings 19.4-8 | Psalm 34 | Ephesians 4.30-5.2 | John 6.41-51
July 27, 2015

In this week's Gospel Jesus says, "I am the bread that came down from heaven."

The simple truth is that all of us need this heavenly bread. We are hungry. We are broken. We are needy.

Just think of all the ways we try to deny and hide this great hunger in our souls. Alcohol and drugs. Saturating our life in media. Distractions and entertainment of all kinds.

Tonight I ate dinner in a restaurant. There were several televisions.

On the screen were women beating each other into bloody oblivion. This so-called Ultimate Fighting match was a stark reminder of just how broken our culture really is. We now entertain ourselves by watching women beat one another up. This is an outrageous distortion of God's plan.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. – John 6.47

'Very truly I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life.'

John 6.47

When we do not fill ourselves with God, the appetite for spectacle and deadening entertainment grows. The Roman leaders called this "bread and circuses." It was and is a crass way of distracting people from the things that truly matter.

The human race is racing into a future of pain. We are being distracted from reality. The reality of why we live, breathe and exist on this planet.

Our modern bread and circuses are leaving us vulnerable to the powers of darkness at work in the world.

All of us need to see that the hunger we feel inside can never be satisfied apart from Jesus. There is nothing and no one on this earth that can ultimately satisfy our infinite hunger. We are designed to feed on the bread that comes from heaven.

Personally I am amazed at my ability to try to satisfy my spiritual hunger with things other than God. Over and over I re-discover that nothing can satisfy me but God.

Everything is empty if it does not lead us to the truth, beauty and love of God.

One of the things I practise is welcoming Jesus into my brokenness. I use a short prayer of aspiration like, "Jesus, I welcome your presence now." It helps me to remember that Jesus alone can satisfy my desires.

Perhaps we can all meditate a little more often on our spiritual hunger. Perhaps we can become more aware of all the things we use to satisfy our ceaseless craving.

Perhaps we can practise daily welcoming Jesus, the Bread of Life, in all the broken areas of our lives.

Jesus, you alone can satisfy. You alone can feed us. You alone can fill the spiritual hunger we live with every day of our lives.

Come living bread of heaven and feed your people. Awaken this world to your truth, beauty and love.

We welcome your presence now.