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Today’s reading is once again taken from chapter six of John’s Gospel. If we think back to the passage we read last week, also from John, we’ll remember that the crowds who gathered around Jesus were struggling to understand his true identity.

Our passage from today picks up shortly after this event and further outlines the difficulty many had understanding Jesus as the Son of God.

When our reading begins, the crowds are confused. They say, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven?’”

Jesus replies with a theme that is prominent throughout John’s Gospel: That God already knows who will find their faith in Jesus. For the remainder of our passage, Jesus continues to define his relationship with God and the gift of eternal life that believers will receive.

Jesus’ words urge that those who wish to believe shift their perspective. In doing so they will receive the gifts of their faith—just as we do every time we celebrate the Eucharist at mass.

A shift in perspective is sometimes easier said than done. We pick up values and habits from our parents. We discover our interests and identify our goals through schooling. We train ourselves to be experts in practiced methods and operations while building careers.

But when those life-long perspectives are challenged—even when for good reasons—it’s not always easy to adapt. We saw this first hand at the start of COVID-19.

Doctors, nurses, and caregivers around the world dedicate their careers to serving others. But when the pandemic hit, their roles demanded so much more from them. They responded heroically, with an unwavering commitment to their patients—but it took a toll on their own wellbeing.

In our 2021 Summer Impact Report, we reflect on the challenges our teams faced while serving during COVID-19 and our response to support them.

CMMB developed a volunteer effort to equip our teams on the ground with the skills to build resilience, deal with grief, and care for themselves and others. Under these extraordinary circumstances, this support has never been more important. But that doesn’t mean it was easy for our team to take on.

Healthcare workers reading a chart at Mwandi Mission Hospital in Zambia in May 2021.

An impetus for resiliency training in the first place, said CMMB Volunteer Therese M. Lysaught, was the knowledge that healthcare workers are not trained to care for themselves, but rather, to “be stoic, which is counterproductive to good healthcare. A key piece of this has been to say, you have permission to take care of yourselves. You are a priority, and this is going to make you a more effective care provider.”

Resiliency training for our frontline heroes was just one of the critical resources we launched in response to the pandemic. If you’re interested in learning more about this particular effort, we encourage you to read more on our blog. To read about our holistic response to COVID-19 and our goals for the future, we invite you to explore our impact report. You can do so by clicking HERE.

In grace and peace,


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*Portions of today’s reflection were adapted from and inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection.