How many of us are looking for any kind of sign, on the radio, television, with other people, and in all the media? How many of us are looking to find meaning in our lives in everything we do? How many of us get carried away by everything we think and feel without discerning if any of it comes from the Holy Spirit? No matter how much we look for signs, solutions, purposes, and meaning to our life; without having Jesus as our priority, and as the main center of our lives, we will always be thirsty, empty, hopeless people with long faces, as if in mourning.
Worst of all, many sons and daughters of God have taken God out of their lives and their families and live in a confused and hopeless world. We have confusion, sadness, torments, depression, and bitter pills in our lives, and instead of turning to Jesus, who is our solution, we turn to our human capacity, science, technology, or any ideology that the world offers us. No matter how much we look in the external world for the solution to everything that happens to us, we will be more empty, exhausted, and dissatisfied. We can’t do it, my brothers and sisters; we won’t get very far. Our human force and our human knowledge will sooner or later be exhausted, and we will have no more strength or desire to continue living.
The Gospel of Saint John, of this Sunday, the 17th of Ordinary Time, presents Jesus to us as the BREAD OF LIFE; the only one who can give meaning to our lives and give us eternal life. Jesus comes to satisfy our hunger and our thirst; without Him, everything will be upside down and it would be much more difficult to cope with the problems and difficulties that we face every day. When they realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and headed to Capernaum in search of Jesus. They found him on the other shore and said, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered 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. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” (John 6, 24-27).
With the respect that all my Catholic Christian brothers and sisters deserve, do you come to the Holy Eucharist every Sunday? And if you come, do you receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ? And if you do not come to the Holy Eucharist, how do you feed your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, to be in communion with God, your Father, and with your brothers and sisters? Is it that God is only a myth, an idea, and a historical God in your life? How are you preparing the day that you will meet God, where you will see him face to face, as he is? Brothers and sisters, for those who consider themselves Catholic Christians, there is still time to leave our personal or human excuses and get closer to the BREAD OF LIFE, that has come down from heaven, who is JESUS CHRIST. So 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 hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe.” (Saint John 6, 34-36).
Let us not be deaf to the voice of Jesus. May we not be so indifferent, foolish, and self-sufficient that we ignore the free invitation that He gives us. Remember that we are only passing through this temporary life. We will take absolutely nothing of what we own and have. We will only take the friendship and communion that we have had with Jesus and with our brothers and sisters. We will only take the good deeds that we have done or not done.
There is still time to leave all that is mundane, earthly, and fleeting. To listen to the voice of Jesus, follow Him, and do what He asks of us. “I AM THE LIVING BREAD THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN.” Amen.
With love and respect,
Father Alberto Villafan, ofm
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