APRIL 19. EASTER. WK. 3. MON. JOHN 6. 22-29
After Jesus had fed the five thousand, his disciples saw him walking on the water. Next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side saw that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that the disciples had set off by themselves. Other boats, however, had put in from Tiberias, near the place where the bread had been eaten. When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs
but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.
Do not work for food that cannot last,
but work for food that endures to eternal life,
the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you,
for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.’
Then they said to him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’ Jesus gave them this answer, ‘This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.’
Today’s Gospel raises an interesting question; - namely; - Why are we following Jesus Christ?
Is it so we can receive gifts from God; - or, is it so we can learn to Love God and Serve him?
We need to reflect seriously on these two options as each of them has many followers today!
The first group are motivated by a desire to be friends of Jesus, and have him look after them!
The second group are motivated by a desire to Love God, and dedicate their lives to that goal!
Their motivation of the first group is essentially “Love of self”; - and we know in our hearts it is has many followers!
The second group is motivated by a genuine desire to “Love God”; - while being aware this will involve both suffering and sacrifice!
The primary focus of the first group is satisfaction of their own desires, interests and concerns in order to care for themselves!
The primary focus of the second group is renunciation of their desires, interests and concerns in order to imitate Christ!
Jesus addresses the first group today when he says: “You are not looking for me because you have seen the signs (I am from God) but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat!”
And then he addresses the second group where he says: “‘This is working for God; - you must believe in (the teachings and example of) the one he has sent.’
The first road is easy and comfortable; - while the second involves both suffering and sacrifice!