In this month’s first Gospel, the people had just been fed by Jesus, and they all ate until they were full. Jesus leaves these people to continue to proclaim the Good News, but as He disembarked from the boat this group has gathered once again—not just to hear Jesus preach but also to be fed.
Jesus says to them, “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.”
This encounter was an opportunity for Jesus to teach these people. He invites them to see Him, as well as God’s love for them, from a new perspective. He invites the people, as He invites us, to seek food that will give everlasting life. The people hear Jesus and ask for this kind of bread. Then Jesus says something very profound. “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Jesus truly is the bread of life! When we come to Jesus and place our trust in Him, He not only cares for us, heals us, and forgives us, but also feeds our deepest hungers and desires. With Jesus, we have all that we need and more.
Upon reflection, perhaps my neighbor was right so many years ago. Everything in life may indeed have a price attached to it. Maybe there are no free lunches. When God fed the Israelites, he did ask for something in return. Jesus in John’s Gospel also asked for something in return for feeding us each time we come to Him in the Eucharist. But the price is small, and the benefits are great! All Christ asks of each of us is our faithfulness, our gratitude, and our willingness to do unto others as He has done for each of us.