Today’s Gospel: John 6:24-35
When my Protestant friend tried to get me to skip my routine of daily Mass so that I could join her in the very popular scripture study at the non-denominational church in the next town, I have to admit, it was tempting. Nearly all of my friends participated in this group, and all I ever heard was how great the fellowship there was. They raved about the courses, the coffee, the child care, the joy, the way they felt so welcomed and loved…they were being fed! And who doesn’t want that? What mother searching for real connection and purpose in life, starving to be fed, wouldn’t say yes to that kind of invitation?
But I politely said, “No.”
That scripture study, as wonderful as I know it is, as inviting as it sounds, for me, would be like ordering Chinese food. I would choose my meal, and I would eat it up, and it would taste perfect and it would fill me until I couldn’t possibly eat anymore…and then an hour later, I would be hungry again.
This is why I choose what sustains. This is why I turned down the fun and the friends and the complimentary coffee. Because what I am offered at the Holy Mass has the power to fill me and satisfy me like nothing else of this world. It is so tempting to eat the food of this world that gives immediate pleasure, but I want more than that. I need more than that. This life is so complicated and beautiful and so incredibly painful and unpredictable, that I must choose to work for the food that promises to endure. Remember what happened to those who ate the manna? They died. But let’s remember what happens to those who eat the bread of life. They live forever.
Please, Lord Jesus, give us this bread always.
Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.
Jesus, bread of life, I choose you, the true bread from heaven. Please give me this bread always. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.