Jn 6: 24-35

So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.”

Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

All that we need comes from Christ

Farmers with cattle put out in their fields large blocks of salt for the cows to lick and get their needed supply of sodium, important in particular for milk production. Once a photographer created an extraordinary photo called “Salt-Lick Cross.” The artist took small salt blocks, arranged them in the form of a cross and put them on a rough wooden platform in a cattle barn. The picture shows the black and white Holstein cows licking the cross-shaped cubes, gaining sustenance, nutrition, and life itself from the harrowing symbol of Christ. Like the salt cross for the cattle, Jesus declares that he himself is our bread, food, water, salt, everything we need. We can get our fill of all the material goods life has to offer and still feel empty. Our faith’s claim is that only in Christ will we get what we truly need to live deeply, richly, eternally.

Have you ever achieved success at your work, fulfilled a critical material need, or accomplished one of your major life goals, and still felt empty and unfulfilled? What did you do next?

—Br. Joe Hoover, SJ, is a writer, actor, and poetry editor at America: The Jesuit Review and also works with Crown Heights Mutual Aid. He is a Jesuit of the Midwest Province living in New York City.

 

Prayer

Give me only your love and your grace O Lord, that is enough for me.

—St. Ignatius of Loyola