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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Lectionary: 113
Read: John 6:24-35

Gospel Summary
Even though the crowd in today’s Gospel had enough faith in Jesus—whom they called Rabbi, or “Teacher”—that they got into boats and went to Capernaum looking for him, still they had that small kernel of doubt in who he was. Yet again, they asked him for a sign so that they might truly believe in him. Jesus basically tells them that the sign is in their midst, and has always been in their midst. For it was God who gave the bread from heaven to their ancestors in the desert, and it is God who gave them the true bread from heaven, Jesus himself, the Bread of Life.

Reflection for Families
A familiar phrase used by children and adults alike is, “Prove it to me.” In a sense, this is what the followers of Jesus are saying to him in today’s Gospel, “Prove it to us, Jesus. Give us a sign so that we might believe in you.” But the signs are all around us. God’s Word speaks to us of God’s love, compassion, presence, and care. Every day God sends signs through his works of creation, through the kind words of another, through the helpful hand given by a friend, or through the presence and the worship of the community of believers, the Church. We simply have to open our eyes and our hearts to the signs of God’s presence, including the Real Presence of Christ—Bread of Life and Cup of Salvation—given to us in the Eucharist.

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family
As a family, take time to share where you have seen signs of God’s presence in recent days. Then use large unlined index cards or half pieces of construction or drawing paper, crayons or markers, popsicle sticks, and strong tape or glue to create mini hand-held signs. Invite family members to create one or more “Signs of God’s Presence” by drawing the examples they have just named. Display the signs on your family prayer table, or in a large flower pot full of sand or gravel. You may wish to leave spare signs and art supplies near your display so that family members can create more signs as they see God’s presence throughout the coming week.

Discussion Starters

  1. It is easy for me to see or to feel God’s presence when . . .
  2. It is hard for me to see or to feel God’s presence when . . .
  3. One way I can be God’s presence to someone else is . . .

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