ACTS 6: 8 – 15
In those days: Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, arose and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated men, who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, and set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place, and will change the customs which Moses delivered to us.” And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 119: 23 – 24, 26 – 27, 29 – 30 (R.) 1b
R/. Blessed are those who walk in the law of the Lord.
Though princes sit plotting against me,
your servant ponders your statutes.
See, your decrees are my delight;
your statutes are my counsellors. R/.
I declared my ways and you answered me;
teach me your statutes.
Make me grasp the way of your precepts,
and I will ponder your wonders. R/.
Keep me from the way of falsehood;
grant me mercy by your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
your decrees I have upheld. R/.
Matthew 4: 4b
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
JOHN 6: 22 – 29
[After five thousand men had eaten their fill, the disciples of Jesus saw him walking on the sea.] On the next day the people who remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. However, boats from Tiberias came near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking 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, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
esus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” (John 6:26–27)
This Scripture goes straight to the heart of our priorities in life. What are you working for? Are you working hard for the “food that perishes” and only working slightly for the “food that endures for eternal life?” Or vice versa?
For some reason, we can easily become obsessed with working for the “things” of this world. In the passage above, people were looking for Jesus because He had fed them the day before and they were hungry again. They were looking for food, literally. Jesus gently rebukes them, taking this as an opportunity to point out the real reason they should be seeking Him. The real reason is that He wants to provide the spiritual food of eternal life. What is the food Jesus wants you to seek? That’s a question you must let our Lord answer in your heart.
There are two key questions we should ponder here so as to let Him answer us. First, “What do I want in life?” Spend time with that. Spend time all by yourself and try to be honest with this question. What do you want? What is your heart’s desire? If you are honest and if you let yourself face your desires you will most likely find that you have some desires, or even many, that are not put in your heart by Christ. Recognizing what these desires are is the first step to discovering what the true food is that Jesus wants to give you.
The second key question is this: “Are you seeking Jesus for the right reason?” When we are sick we seek a doctor for a cure. When a child is hurt, this child often runs to a parent for comfort. This is OK. We do the same. When we are lost and confused we often turn to God for answers and help. But, ideally, we will eventually seek God for more than just healing or comfort. We will ultimately seek God for the reason of love. We will seek Him simply because we love Him and want to love Him all the more.
Reflect, today, upon your desire to seek Jesus, or lack thereof. When you can begin to seek out Jesus simply because you love Him and want to love Him more, you are on the right road. And as you walk down that road, you find it is a road of the utmost delight and fulfillment.
Jesus, help me to seek You. Help me to seek You for the help and healing I need. But more than that, help me to seek You out of love. My Jesus, I do love You. Help me to love You more. Jesus, I trust in You.