Saturday, December 15, 2018

Late Post - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time B: Hunger for God

AUGUST 5, 2018

Jesus, I trust in you!

The people of Israel have witnessed how with a powerful arm, the Lord liberated them from the slavery of Egypt. They saw how the Red Sea was divided so that they can cross it on dry ground with walls of water to their left and right. They saw how the soldiers of Egypt who pursued them were drowned at sea when the waters collapsed on them. Very impressive signs they saw and yet, as they walked to freedom, they could not forget how they sat by their fleshpots and ate their fill of bread when they were still in Egypt. They even complained to the Lord: “You had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!”

So also did the people who came to Capernaum in search of Jesus. They looked for him because they ate their fill when Jesus multiplied bread and fish. The Lord knew their hearts and so he said: “You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” Basically, we are always hungry for food and never do we become satisfied. This “craving for food eventually expands to include other things – clothes, cars, gadgets, houses, and wealth in all its forms. The irony is that the more we accumulate these things, the hungrier we become.” (Fr. Virgilio Ojoy, OP)

Seeing our insatiable hunger, the Lord tells us: “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” “It is foolish to think that perishable material things can give us the happiness and the satisfaction that we seek.” (Ojoy, OP) Jesus reminds us that there is a concern greater than what to eat and what to wear. We are meant for eternal life. Material things give us temporary satisfaction. Only God can satisfy the deepest cravings of the human heart. Since the cravings of the human heart are endless, only the One who is eternal can satisfy it. “To make us appreciate more keenly the necessity to turn our eyes to eternal blessings, God has filled our hearts with desires so vast and so magnificent that nothing in creation is capable of satisfying them.” (St. John Vianney) Only in the Lord will we be happy for all eternity. “Do you want to be happy? Fix your eyes on Heaven; it is there that your hearts will find that which will satisfy them completely.”

The earthly food that we eat can sustain us only from one meal to the next. The only food that can help us endure to eternal life is the food that Jesus gives us. He gives us Himself. “The Bread of God is that which comes down from heaven. I am the Bread of life. He who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst again.”  For us to crave for this heavenly food, we must “believe in the one (God) sent.” We must believe in Jesus. “You must no longer live as Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds…” Learn Christ as truth is in Jesus. To believe in Jesus is to be renewed in the spirit of our minds: to see beyond the limits of this material world into the invisible and eternal world that Christ reveals to us. It is only when we believe in Jesus that we will beg Him: “Give us this bread always.” To hunger for God is to crave for the Eucharist. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Taste him. Eat this bread from heaven and you will hunger no more. Believe in Jesus and you will thirst no more.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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