John 6: 22-29
Acts 6:8-15 / Psa 119
In all truth I tell you, you are looking for me not because you have seen the signs but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.
Not on the things of this world,
But on the next must we be intent;
“This is the work of the Lord,
That (we) believe in the One He sent.”
The next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side saw that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not got into the boat with His disciples, but that the disciples had set off by themselves. Other boats, however, had put in from Tiberias, near the place where the bread had been eaten. When the people saw that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found Him on the other side, they said to Him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered: “In all truth I tell you, you are looking for me not because you have seen the signs but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat. Do not work for food that perishes, but work for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him the Father, God Himself, has set His seal. Then they said to Him, “What must we do if we are to accomplish the work of God?” Jesus gave them this answer, “This is the work of God: that you must believe in the One He has sent.” (John 6:22-29)
Today’s Gospel passage should make us question our motive in seeking a spiritual experience in our life. Is it because we feel an emptiness within that craves for some higher Power to give meaning to our dull existence? Or are we burdened by some problem(s) or difficulties that we feel are beyond our capability to resolve or endure? Or do we seek Jesus because we believe that He will supply all our needs, like the Jews who went to all the trouble looking for Him because they had “all the bread (they) wanted to eat”? (A faux faith based on the “Prosperity Principle”.) If any of the above is our reason for seeking Jesus, then we have not yet built the foundation of our “house” on a rock. When Jesus saw His first two disciples following Him, He asked them, “What are you looking for?” (Jn.1:38) Our Lord knew that His disciples initially had misguided motives for following Him. It was only after the Holy Spirit had apportioned God’s wisdom to each one of them on Pentecost that they discovered the most important aspiration in their life – the kingdom of heaven.
In the first reading, we read about St. Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, who performed great wonders and signs among the people. The Jews who argued with him could not stand up against the wisdom the Holy Spirit had given him. (Acts 6:8-10). Unlike the apostles, he never met Jesus in the flesh, but his faith in Jesus was so strong that he was willing to die for Him, thus becoming the first Christian martyr. Like St. Stephen, our motive for seeking Jesus should be because we want to be like Him — generous, faithful, forgiving (even when his enemies stoned him to death), and full of trust in God’s will. Nothing in this life is more important than dedicating our life to Jesus. He said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt. 10:39). He also said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well” (Mt.6:33).
Dear God, please help us to keep our vision focused intently on Jesus, our Savior, so that we may imitate Him all the days of our life. Come, Holy Spirit, inspire us and help us be guided by Your Word, so that we may be worthy followers of Jesus. Amen.