8-1-21 Reflection

First Reading: Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
Second Reading: Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
Gospel: John 6:24-25

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you”… Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread, so that you may know that I, the Lord, am your God. 

    Did you ever go to the refrigerator, open the door, look around at everything inside and say: “I’m hungry for something, but not for any of that?” We are not satisfied with anything there. 

     Similarly, it’s possible to not be satisfied with life. In other words, we can feel like we “have it all”, good health, family, a job and an income – but still feel something is missing – with an incredible “dissatisfaction” inside of us. 

        Only Jesus Christ can fill this spiritual emptiness, whether small or large. St. Paul in today’s Letter to the Ephesians describes that we must “put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.” We must let go of our “former self”. Sometimes, this can be more of a journey – a lifelong process – in which, as we grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ, our life changes to a “life in Christ”. How about beginning each day with this question: “Jesus, what do you want me to do for you today?” The answer may be already what you planned to do: take care of your family, go to work or during this time of year of vacations – rest, relax and “recreate” or maybe Jesus will surprise you! 

     Jesus’ words in today’s gospel: “Do not work for food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life.”…”I am the bread of life…those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty.” The Israelites wandered for 40 years in the desert, often complaining to God. Do we not sometimes do the same?…when we cry out: “God, why this health problem, this financial difficulty, this problem in my relationship with….?” God forgave the Israelites, so too he does for us. He fed the Israelites with quail and manna when they complained about the lack of food. In response to our complaints, Jesus gives himself, the “Bread of Life” to sustain and strengthen us.  

     Every time we receive the “Bread of Life”, God the Father gives us the greatest gift possible, “his only begotten Son”, that we might have eternal life.  

May God bless us always!  Deacon Mike