Jesus said to the crowds, «I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty. Nevertheless, as I said, you refuse to believe, even when you have seen. Yet, all that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me, I shall not turn away. For I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of the One who sent me. And the will of him who sent me is that I lose nothing of what He has given me, but instead that I raise it up on the last day. This is the will of the Father, that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall live with eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day».
Jesus helps us to understand the divine will: eternal life and resurrection. God is our Father and He does not want to lose us. Yet He leaves us free. For this, God gives us spiritual food, the bread that came down from heaven. When Jesus said that we will not be hungry and thirsty, it is not the material desire or accumulation of intellectual things, but the reunion of our soul with the Father, the origin of our being.
Since God is our Father, we are asked to trust in this God. It is up to us to choose this God, for God has already chosen us. It is not a ready-made choice, once and for all, but a daily choice, everyday choices. We must recognize that this daily choice is more difficult than believing in this God, once and for all.
Action of the Day: Have confidence in God.
«Whoever comes to me shall never be hungry»
Fr. Gavan JENNINGS
Today we see how much our hunger and our thirst concern God! How can we continue to think that God is indifferent to our sufferings? And yet, so often, we “refuse to believe” in the tender love that God has for each one of us. In hiding himself in the Eucharist, God manifests the incredible lengths He will go to in order to satiate our thirst and our hunger.
But what thirst and hunger are these? Ultimately it is the hunger and thirst for “eternal life”. Physical hunger and thirst is only a pale reflection of a deep desire each man has for a divine life that only Christ can give us. «This is the will of the Father, that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall live with eternal life» (Jn 6,39). And what must we do to obtain this eternal life we so desire? Some heroic, superhuman feat? No, it is something much simpler for Jesus says: «Whoever comes to me, I shall not turn away» (Jn 6,37). We simply have to turn up – to come to Him.
These words of Christ spur us to come to him daily in Mass. This is the easiest thing in the world: simply to turn up at Mass, pray and then receive his Body. Once we do this, we not only possess this new life, but we radiate it to others. Pope Francis, the then Cardinal Bergoglio, said in a Corpus Christi homily: «How beautiful it is, after receiving Holy Communion, to think of our lives as a prolonged Mass in which we bring the fruit of the presence of the Lord to the world of families, to the housing estates, to our study and work; thus we will also come to think of our life as a daily preparation for the Eucharist, in which the Lord takes everything that is ours and offers it once again to the Father».