Food for Eternal Life

John 6: 22-29
Acts 6:8-15 / Psa 119

Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.
(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 next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone. There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus. When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:22-29)

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 can 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 that we become, as well as the condition of our physical and spiritual well-being.

For instance, having chosen a meatless diet which I maintained for more than 20 years had been very beneficial to my body. But more important than this was the constant reading of the Bible, and other spiritual books and magazines, including ‘Kerygma’ and ‘Kapatiran”. These have nourished and kept healthy not only my mind, but my spirit as well. Above all, regularly partaking of the Body of Christ in the Holy Eucharist has made me spiritually fit and strong.

The right way that we take care of our bodies and souls lead us to seek the company of like-minded Christians – brothers and sisters in God’s flock who lead healthy and wholesome lifestyles. We form strong bonds of brotherhood because we “feed” on each others’ spiritual experiences, and we grow stronger as Christians because of each others’ Godly influences.

Dear God, thank You that we can partake of One Bread in Jesus Christ, which has made us grow together as one people, adoring One God, Who nourishes us all. Amen.

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