Looking for Jesus

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.
(John 6:26)

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)

Reflection

The one hundred police trainees who took the “Life in the Spirit Seminar” at the PNP Training Center this past week-end no longer looked famished (for the Word of God) after undergoing the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” and listening to the last talk, “Growing in the Holy Spirit.” It was so uplifting to see them “well fed”, and eager to begin a new life in Christ. I thanked our partners in mission, the members of the Ligaya ng Panginoon for inviting me to give that last talk in their LSS seminar.

We seek Jesus not because we believe that He will supply all our needs, like the Jews who only sought Him for “all the bread [they] wanted to eat.” Instead, our hunger springs from our need to share His Good News of salvation to others, especially to those who need to grow spiritually. I saw Jesus in the faces of those young trainees who needed to discover that their most important aspiration in life is the kingdom of heaven. They must believe in Jesus Christ before they can gain the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are essentially the food that they need to nourish their souls.

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). Although he never met the Lord in the flesh, St. Stephen’s 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). This is how we seek Jesus, and all our needs God will satisfy.

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.

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