Our Gospel today gives us the first fifteen verses of Chapter Six of John’s Gospel -- a chapter concerned with Jesus being the true bread come down from heaven.
I want you to note how it says, “The Jewish feast of Pass over was near.” Let me point out that St. John also made that comment at the beginning of his Gospel, and then again at the end.
Now, if you pour over John’s Gospel you will become aware of how John had an underlying plan for his Gospel. He wanted to show us that just as God chose Moses to lead his people first from the slavery in Egypt, then through the desert years, and finally into the promised land; so God chose Jesus to lead us out of slavery to sin, through our desert years, and into our promised land of heaven.
In writing his Gospel, John marked the entry into each of the three divisions of his story by dropping the phrase, “The Passover of the Jewish people was near.
John first inserted that phrase in Chapter Two when he echoed the break with the slavery of Egypt with his story of Jesus driving the dealers out of the temple. He dropped that phrase again here where the story of Jesus being the true bread from heaven echoes the manna from heaven in the desert years in Exodus. He inserted the words “the Passover of the Jews was near” at the end of Chapter Eleven when Mary of Bethany is about to anoint the body of Jesus for its passage from this world.
When the readings at Mass following Easter speak of our joy at taking part in the Paschal Mystery, they are referring to the way that Jesus leads us into the Promised Land of Heaven.