Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF

            “Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe you.”

            It wasn’t that Jesus performed no miracles or signs that would help them believe in him. Rather, people were more interested in signs that would merely confirm their existing beliefs and biases, convenient truths that would not disturb their comfortable ways of living. And if any of the signs was contrary to their belief which gave them cognitive dissonance, they would find a way to discredit and reject it. They would rather have the bread that would feed the habitual ways of their comatose souls. They would conveniently sidestep truths that challenged them. They would close their eyes, cover their ears, and gnash their teeth at signs that question their set beliefs and practices, as is evident in the crowd’s reaction to Stephen’s preaching.

Jesus fearlessly challenges his audience with a statement that would jolt them out of their comfort zones: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty.” Did they accept those words? As per the Gospel accounts, some of his own disciples found those words too hard and would leave him soon after!

How open am I to the revelations of Truth, which may shatter my current beliefs and practices, and leave me less sure of the world of my own making?


 (Note: This reflection is a revised and updated version of the author’s own reflection for the same readings in the Bible Diary 2013 [Claretian Publications]. All rights reserved. He may be contacted at:


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