Nourished by the Bread of Life

John 6: 22-29
Acts 6: 8-15 / Ps 119: 23-24, 26-27, 29-30

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.
(John 6:27)

Seek God not in signs or raptures,
Nor in material needs fulfilled;
Find Him in the Mass and Scriptures,
The covenant that He has sealed.

The crowd that Jesus left behind saw that He had not gotten into the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’ Then they said to him, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’

Reflection

The “food that endures for eternal life” that Jesus was referring to was His own flesh and blood, transubstantiated in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. God “set His seal” on this ‘Covenant’ when at the Last Supper, our Lord Jesus said, “This cup (of wine) is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you” (Lk.22:20).

There is food for the body and food for the mind. There is also food for the soul. There is good food that nourishes well, and bad food that only makes us sick. There are good books and magazines that empower and inspire, and pornographic smut that only pollute our minds. We must be able to discern well the kind of foods that we consume for our body, mind and spirit. Our choices determine the kind of person we are, as well as the condition of our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. For instance, choosing a meatless diet can be very beneficial to one’s health. But more important than a safe diet, the constant reading of the Bible, and other spiritual books and magazines, and watching spiritual programs on cable t.v. like EWTN can nourish and keep healthy not only our minds, but our spirits as well. Above all, regularly partaking of the Body of Christ in the Holy Eucharist can make us spiritually fit and strong.

There’s a great divide between the physical and the spiritual, and like the Jews in Jesus’ time, we tend to seek the miraculous manifested in material things (like the multiplication of the loaves). As long as life is good, we have no problem in believing. But it is really in facing the storms in life when true faith is developed, and it is in persevering, in being steadfast in our belief in Him no matter what the circumstances we are in that is the real miracle of Christ in our lives.

Lord, strengthen our faith, as we partake of One Bread in Jesus Christ, and as we grow together as one people, adoring You, our One God, Who nourishes us all. Amen.

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