( A commentary on John 6: 35-30)
Jesus said to the crowds, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.” (John 6:35-40)
With the world turning as it does, it’s easy to feel that it’s out of control. Being out of control can often lead to persona feelings of despair and being powerless. It often feels like we are wandering without a goal in sight. We can sometimes even feel abandoned, as if God was no longer shepherding us or accompanying His flock on a cloudy and misty day.
And so our lives become nothing more than waiting… waiting for something to change, waiting for something to surprise us. We hope that we will eventually find something but meanwhile, life passes without us ever finding an answer to our unspecified desires.
Then comes today’s scripture to remind us of who we are and the significance of our lives.
Jesus makes three promises to us.
First, he offers himself as spiritual food which produces the very life of God within us. Second, he promises unbroken friendship and freedom from the fear of being forsaken or cut off from God. Third, he offers us the hope of sharing in his resurrection. Jesus rose physically never to die again.
How does play out in our lives?
Initially, we begin by coming to Jesus through prayer, scripture and the sacraments. We come into his presence. “I will not reject anyone who comes to me,” Jesus says.
We then need to see Jesus. We see him with our eyes, hear him with our ears, we come into contact with him through our senses. Look around. Look within. We need to keep our eyes fixed on him.
Then we need to take the next step . . . to believe in him, to find him trustworthy and begin to trust in him and in what he says. Jesus says, “Everyone who sees the Son and believes in him…”
Without a deep trust and total commitment to Christ and all he stands for; we may find that we do not have full access to that Bread of Life which we need so much.
But if we hold fast to that commitment, we experience the fullness of what life can be. Real life is a relationship with the living God, a relationship of trust, love, obedience, peace, and joy. This is what Jesus makes possible for us – a loving relationship with God who created us for love with him.
No one of us ever as to search for meaning in our lives. God is generous with everyone. He never gives a life without also giving it a meaning.
Jesus begins today’s scripture by saying: “Whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” Jesus totally changes our desires, our aspirations, our hungers, our thirsts. He begins to give us a down payment on that total fulfillment when he raises us on the last day, because through the progression of faith all the way toward the faithful communion with him, he’s raising us up on this very day.
You and I are worthy of that great love. Think about that. Now choose to live it.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus Christ, your death brought life and hope where there was once only despair and defeat. Give me the unshakable hope of everlasting life, the inexpressible joy of knowing your unfailing love, and the unwavering faith and obedience in doing the will of our Father in heaven.”
Jesus has a mission. “I came down from heaven [a phrase repeated six times in this chapter] not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” And what is the will of the Father? “It is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me but that I should raise it [on] the last day.
This is a summary of what this whole chapter is about. God wants everyone to be with him “on the last day”. On our part, we have to learn how to “see the Son” and “believe in him”, so that one day we can say with St Paul: “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). When that happens, we know that we have truly been filled with the Bread that is Christ.