Monday of the Third Week of Easter
(Acts 6:8-15; Acts John 6:22-29)
Since Vatican II the Church has admonished Catholics who think of “the Jews” as guilty of Jesus’ death. Nevertheless, the term is used especially in the Gospel of John to indicate the rivals of Jesus. This reference reflects the time and place of Jesus’ life. It is more correct to think of “the Jews” as those who do not understand his teaching. Unfortunately, it would include many baptized Christians today.
For example, many Christians seek the satisfaction of their sense appetites more than freedom from sin. These are precisely the people whom are labeled as “the Jews” in today’s gospel. They do not understand that Jesus fed the multitude to signify his fulfilling a deep-seated spiritual need. He bestows the wherewithal to love one’s neighbor.
We do want to love our neighbor even if we do not express ourselves always in this way. We want to live in peace with everyone. We want justice to reign and every valid need met. Following Jesus’ teaching, this hope may be better realized. Remaining like “the Jews,” we will likely find continued rivalry.