Fr Paul Gooley reads from the Gospel of John (6: 44-51) in which Jesus says, ‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever. The bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.”’.

Fr Paul says in the verses just before this Gospel the audience in the synagogue, simply called, ‘the Jews’, interrupts Jesus and this is the sort of thing that still happens in a synagogue where the atmosphere is far less formal than in our church. Everything is discussed and mulled over.

The interruption also serves to highlight the homily and move it onto the next point; That being Jesus, himself, is the true wisdom of God.

The booster quotation from the prophets which always occurs halfway through this type of homily seems, at first sight, to be startingly irrelevant. However, one of the features of the new covenant is that the individual will no longer rely on the inherited religion of the people of God as a whole but will be directly, and individually, taught and taught wisdom by God.

The wisdom offered is not a generalised gift it is the opening of the profound knowledge of God offered to each one who desires it.

Fr Paul invites us to reflect on today’s Gospel challenge; do I desire, do I want, am I open to the profound knowledge of God that Jesus is offering?