The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 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 sea, 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.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today Jesus challenges us to look beyond the obvious. “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” The five thousand witnessed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish, ate, and were filled. Then, they wanted more. But they missed the true meaning of their encounter with our Lord. So Jesus invited them to take a step further to see and understand the miracle. “Do not work for food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life.” Jesus not only wanted to satisfy their physical needs but also their spiritual needs. He is the Bread of Life for the five thousand, for us now, and for all eternity.
What am I hungering for in my life? Am I seeking more the miracle or the meaning?
—Mary Lou Manion is an intern in the spiritual direction program at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington, IL.
Bread of life, hope of the world,
Jesus Christ, our brother;
feed us now, give us life,
lead us to one another.
—Bernadette Farrell, © 1982. OCP Publications, Inc.Please share the Good Word with your friends!