June 23, 2019
Old Testament Reading: Exodus 16:2-15
In the desert the whole community complained about Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only the Lord had let us die in Egypt! There we sat by our pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted! You brought us out into this desert to let us all starve to death!”
The Lord said to Moses, “I’m going to send you food from heaven like rain. Each day the people should go out and gather only what they need for that day. In this way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring home, it should be twice as much as they gather on other days.”
So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt. In the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard you complaining about him. Why are you complaining about us?” Moses also said, “The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and all the food you want in the morning. The Lord has heard you complaining about him. Who are we? You are not complaining about us but about the Lord.”
Moses said to Aaron, “Tell the whole community of Israelites, ‘Come into the Lord’s presence. He has heard you complaining.’”
While Aaron was speaking to the whole community of Israelites, they looked toward the desert. Suddenly they saw the glory of the Lord in the column of smoke. The Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the Israelites complaining. Tell them, ‘At dusk you will eat meat, and in the morning you will eat all the food you want. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”
That evening quails came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone the ground was covered with a thin layer of flakes like frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it they asked each other, “What is this?” because they didn’t know what it was.
Moses said to them, “It’s the food the Lord has given you to eat.”
Epistle Reading: Ephesians 4:1-16
I, a prisoner in the Lord, encourage you to live the kind of life that is worthy of the God has given you. Be humble and gentle in every way. Be patient with each other and lovingly accept each other. Through the peace that ties you together, do your best to maintain the unity that the Spirit gives. There is one body and one Spirit. In the same way you were called to share one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over everything, through everything, and in everything.
God’s favor has been given to each of us. It was measured out to us by Christ who gave it. That is why the Scriptures say, “When he went to the highest place, he took many captives and gave gifts to people.” What does it mean that he went up, except that he also had gone down to the lowest parts of the earth? The one who had gone down also went up above all the heavens so that he fills everything.
He also gave apostles, prophets, missionaries, as well as pastors and teachers as gifts to his church. Their purpose is to prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ. This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge about God’s Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed and carried about by all kinds of teachings that change like the wind. We will no longer be influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray.
Instead, as we lovingly speak the truth, we will grow up completely in our relationship to Christ, who is the head. He makes the whole body fit together and unites it through the support of every joint. As each and every part does its job, he makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Holy Gospel Reading: John 6:22-35
On the [day after Jesus fed to 5,000] the people were still [by] the sea. They noticed that only one boat was there and that Jesus had not stepped into that boat with his disciples. The disciples had gone away without him. Other boats from Tiberias arrived near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord gave thanks. When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into these boats and went to the city of Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they asked him, “Rabbi [which means: Teacher], when did you get here?”
Jesus replied to them, “I can guarantee this truth: You are not looking for me because you saw miracles. You are looking for me because you ate as much of those loaves as you wanted. Don’t work for food that spoils. Instead, work for the food that lasts into eternal life. This is the food the Son of Man will give you. After all, the Father has placed his seal of approval on him.”
The people asked Jesus, “What does God want us to do?”
Jesus replied to them, “God wants to do something for you, so that you believe in the one whom he has sent.”
The people asked him, “What miracle are you going to perform so that we can see it and believe in you? What are you going to do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the desert. Scripture says, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Jesus said to them, “I can guarantee this truth: Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. God’s bread is the man who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.”
They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread all the time.”
Jesus told them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never become hungry, and whoever believes in me will never become thirsty.