In our organizations, there is at least one team member who likes to complain. An example is the person who answers your every concern with a corresponding statement that is more often than not, a complaint rather than an explanation for his failure.
In the First Reading, the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
The Israelites said to them, ‘Would that we had died at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But you had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!’ They were ungrateful despite their delivery from slavery and were short in memory for what Yahweh has done for them. Yet God remained faithful to them despite their hardheadedness. So that the Israelites know that ‘I, the LORD, am your God’, in the evening twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,’ said the Lord to Moses.
We are in many ways like that, we always forget how the Lord’s goodness has sustained us throughout. In our journey, the road can get rough and tough, and when it does get worse, we can be tempted to complain like the Israelites do. When we encounter this situation, we have to look at it differently. We have to see these times of difficulties as a test of how dedicated we are in our mission, and see what is really the motivation in our hearts, and a reminder to endure hardships as a good soldier of Christ. (2 Tim.2: 3) Yesterday, when we were discussing about the purpose of the Barista Academy, we talked about the difficulties we can encounter, about how we can get tired and fatigued. Yet someone said, that ‘for as long as we are focused on our purpose, it’ll not matter.’
In the Gospel (Jn. 6: 24-35), after realizing that the people were looking for Him not because they saw signs but because they ate the loaves and were filled, Jesus tells His listeners ‘not to work for food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.’ Jesus as Man knows that life is filled with much work, but He also knows the need to remind us that the work we do today will soon be forgotten. He knows that what He offers will last forever. After Jesus tells the crowd that ‘the bread of God is that which comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world,’ they say to him ‘Lord, give us this bread always’. Somehow in their hearts at that moment they knew that there is something about Jesus that drew them closer to Him. They knew in their hearts that He was telling something deeper about the gift that He will give them, the Gift of Himself.
In our evangelization efforts, there will be times that people will abandon the faith after finding it to be just too hard to accept and to understand. But some will believe and stay close to the Lord.
Let’s hope and pray that we will be like the people who stayed with the Lord. May we remain steadfast in our faith that His Body and Blood, the real and authentic ‘Bread of Life’, will nourish every part of us as we continuously prepare to be worthy in receiving Him at Holy Communion. May this nourishment make our faith endure the difficulties we meet along the way. Finally, may we always remain grateful to the Lord for this awesome gift!
“The Lord gave them bread from Heaven.” (cf. Ps. 78: 24b)