Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
December 07, 2023

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I : Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15

The Lord provides what we need.

  • The people speak of death twice in this passage, which reflects anxiety due to hunger.
  • When God provides manna and quail, they ask, “What is this?”
  • This all occurred one month after leaving Egypt.

Reading II : Ephesians 4:17, 20-24

Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; put away your old self.

  • The young Church is persuading the people to put away the ways of the world, possibly numerous gods and immorality—much as it is in any society at any time.
  • The passage moves back and forth between denunciation and urging.
  • The central point is that a radical change is needed.

Gospel : John 6:24-35

Do not work for food that perishes; work for food that endures for eternal life.

  • Jesus appears to be aware that the people are shallow in their commitment.
  • The crowd has focused on the sign and failed to believe its message.
  • Jesus is the manna, the provision from God to quench spiritual hunger; he is the Bread of Life.