“Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”

Getting back to John, we pick up where we left off two days ago (Jn 6:22-29).  Today we find the crowds whom Jesus just miraculously fed looking for Jesus and, finding out that He was in Capernaum, took boats across the Sea of Galilee (as the disciples had just done) to reach Him.  When they come to Jesus, He rebukes them for searching for Him because He physically fed them, imploring them with the headline.  When they ask how they are to do this, Jesus responds: “Believe in the one he sent” (v. 29).  Like the crowd at the time, we can very much become tempted to treat God like a divine vending machine.  Listen a bit to His words, say a few prayers, and get what we ask for.  But the Lord knows us better than we know ourselves (Rom 8:27).  He knows perfectly well exactly what we need to gain eternal life.  We must be completely open to the Lord’s will in our lives.  Through the freely given gifts of Word and Sacrament, attentively and worthily received, we become more and more disposed to conforming our lives to His will.  This can often present challenges we do not expect and that we find difficult to endure and overcome.  In the coming days we will read how many of this crowd rejected Jesus’ challenging words.  May we never reject the Lord, but rather allow the challenges of life that test us to strengthen our faith.

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