John 6: 24-35
The next day the crowd that was left behind realized that there had been only one boat, and that Jesus had not gotten into it with his disciples. They had seen them go off without him. By now boats from Tiberias had pulled up near where they had eaten the bread blessed by the Master. So when the crowd realized he was gone and wasn’t coming back, they piled into the Tiberias boats and headed for Capernaum, looking for Jesus.
When they found him back across the sea, they said, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs—and for free.
“Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”
To that they said, “Well, what do we do then to get in on God’s works?”
Jesus said, “Throw your lot in with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”
They waffled: “Why don’t you give us a clue about who you are, just a hint of what’s going on? When we see what’s up, we’ll commit ourselves. Show us what you can do. Moses fed our ancestors with bread in the desert. It says so in the Scriptures: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Jesus responded, “The real significance of that Scripture is not that Moses gave you bread from heaven but that my Father is right now offering you bread from heaven, the real bread. The Bread of God came down out of heaven and is giving life to the world.”
They jumped at that: “Master, give us this bread, now and forever!”
Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.
Free food woooo!!
I am remember my first week as a student, i was excited to start this new chapter of my academic life, to be educated at a higher level and to feed my need for knowledge. However within that first week I forgot all this at the mention of a ‘fresher’s fair’ where you get free food!! I had no need for free food (if this had been offered many months later then I would have been more appreciative) at the time and yet I found myself going along to all these stalls collecting as many freebies and coupons as possible, because who doesn’t want something for nothing?
I quickly lost track of my reason for being at university and instead of reading I’d be thinking about what else I might be able to get for free.
For me this weeks Gospel is Jesus telling those around him to not get lost in the immediate gratification of something that is given to them for free but to remember life is much bigger than the here and now. However happy something material makes us happy in a moment it is not going to sustain us, only the bread of life, only Jesus can do that. We must nourish ourselves on what we hear through the Gospel and let that feed our soul, this way we will never hunger for more than our means.
So let us not look for what free food is available, no matter how tempting, let us fill ourselves with the love and guidance of God. This way we are guaranteed to live a life more meaningful and satisfactory to our own needs.
Georgina Hindley - Salesian Cooperator
thank you for sending your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the Bread of Life for the world. Forgive us for elevating earthly appetites above devotion to you. Feed us with the knowledge of Christ so that we recognise our sin and gladly repent in his name.