Man isn’t satisfied with what his status is and what he possesses. He continues to work at gaining more wealth or prestige. He doesn’t stop and the pursuit for these matters almost always consumes his time and energy. While this isn’t totally bad, it becomes a source of motivation that is temporary and ephemeral. What makes this bad and eventually devastating is when man uses unethical means to improve his stock as it becomes a perfect recipe for losing what is more important.
In today’s Gospel (Jn. 6: 24-35), the crowd was looking for the Lord, obviously not for gaining spiritual wealth but for satisfying their hunger for food. Jesus said to them,
“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. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
The Lord knows that life is filled with work and distractions in our faith journey. There are times that we must re-focus our energies on the more important matters. Thus He cautioned not to work for food that perishes but for the food that endures. We need to recognize that the work we do today will soon be forgotten, unless it is aligned with God’s will for our life. It is surely a waste of time wandering in the world only to find out later that what you were pursuing isn’t of value in the Kingdom of God.
We should learn our lessons from the readings today to be unlike the Israelites who were grumbling against Moses and Aaron (First Reading: Ex. 16:2-4, 12-15). For them, food was more important and they already became ungrateful. They have forgotten easily that Yahweh delivered them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. They had short memories and were filled with anxieties thinking about dying of hunger. They were focused on temporary matters and short-term gratification. They failed to see the power of God in providing them with anything as necessary in their journey towards the Promised Land.
Thus, we should work at enhancing and building our relationship with the Lord Jesus. We must not just continue with what we’re doing at the present, but rather give more time for reflection and attention to deepening our relationship with Him.
Today, reflect on your own faith. Are you still failing to recognize the Lord despite the blessings you have received? Are you looking elsewhere for fulfillment, instead of focusing on Jesus, the Bread of Life? Do you still pursue your own plans without seeking to understand what God’s plan is for you?
Dear Lord, continue to bring me closer to You. Teach me to focus on You and not on things that are superficial and temporary. Direct me to matters that will make me understand Your Will for my life and in knowing so, enrich my relationship with You. Amen.
“One does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Mt. 4:4b