Daily Bible Reading - April 16, 2024

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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.


Responsorial Psalm: 31: 3cd-4, 6, 7b, 8a, 17, 21ab: Into your hand, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

1st Reading: Acts 7: 51 – 8: 1

But you are a stubborn people, you hardened your hearts and closed your ears. You have always resisted the Holy Spirit just as your fathers did. Was there a prophet whom your ancestors did not persecute? They killed those who announced the coming of the Just One whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the Law through the angels but did not fulfill it.”

When they heard this reproach, they were enraged and they gnashed their teeth against Stephen. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus at God’s right hand, so he declared: “I see the heavens open and the Son of Man at the right hand of God.”

But they shouted and covered their ears with their hands and rushed together upon him. They brought him out of the city and stoned him, and the witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen prayed saying: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and said in a loud voice: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he died.

Saul was there, approving his murder.

Gospel: John 6: 30-35

They then said, “Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe you. What sign do you perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says: They were given bread from heaven to eat.”

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread God gives is the One who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.”

And they said to him, “Give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty.


“Jesus is the true bread.”

The multiplication of the five barley loaves and two fish is the fourth of the seven signs performed by Jesus in John’s Gospel.

The signs or the miracles in John’s Gospel are aimed at inviting people to believe so that in the end they may have life in Jesus’ name.

In today’s Gospel, the people were asking for a miraculous sign from Jesus. We may reflect more deeply on what they were asking from Jesus. Jesus had just fed all of them out of five barley loaves and two fish.

Now, in the present discourse, they were asking for a miraculous sign! They recalled, citing to Jesus, the manna which their ancestors ate in the desert (cf. Ex. 16). Jesus is the true bread that came down from heaven for the life of the world, yet there are those who would not believe in him. Through Jesus, the choice between life and death is set before us.

We are called to choose life over death. There is life for those who believe. But for those who do not believe, there is only death. Our everyday life is always an occasion to choose life over death. Which one are we choosing?


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