Have you ever gone after something—a goal, or a status, or even a person—and once you got what you wanted, it just didn’t feel right? You spent all of that time, talent, and energy working for an apparent good and in the end, it just felt empty or lacking in some way? The food you thought you wanted was simply tasteless?
I imagine this feeling is what Jesus is pointing to when He discusses the Bread of Life in today’s Gospel. “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. . .” (John 6:26-27).
The world is full of shiny new things to pursue—lofty ideals of what should be important, picture-perfect images of what is supposed to bring happiness, levels of achievement meant to equal success—but do those things really fill my soul or even point to God? Does presenting an idea of perfect or achieving certain accolades in life bring me closer to Jesus—to the food that will truly satisfy my hunger for goodness?
Do I ever take a moment to ask God what He wants me to consume? How He wants to feed me?
The Gospel today challenges us to dive into these questions. It beckons us to recognize the perishable foods in our lives—not only those that are easy to point out, but to dig deeper.
Jesus invites us to pray for the desire to uproot anything and everything we are consuming that keeps us from eternal life. Will we take the time to listen and join Him at the banquet of abundance? Or will we ignore His hospitality and keep eating our favorite junk foods in fear of future scarcity?
He is waiting for you, sister. His love will quench your thirst and satiate your hunger. Eat and be filled.
This compilation of Church Father quotes on the Eucharist has lots of gems. Find one that strikes you?
Sarah Stanley is a small town Ohio girl who is obsessed with all things Ignatian and is passionate about faith, social justice, and the intersection of the two. She left Ohio in 2012 and after a year of service in rural Alaska, earning her Master of Divinity in California, and working at a Connecticut High School, is officially back in Ohio serving as a university Newman Campus Minister. When she’s not working, she enjoys contagious laughter, clever puns, and finding the good in all things. You can find out more about her here.