Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Late have I loved You!"


"Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace."
from The Confessions of Saint Augustine
Painting of St Augustine by Botticell

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"Wives be subordinate to your husbands"

HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, August 26, 2012:
.
“Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord.”  Now, let me ask you honestly, how many wives poked their husbands as that was read?  How many husbands twisted uncomfortably in their seats? This is perhaps the most dangerous passage in all of Scripture to preach on, in fact, most preachers usually try and avoid it. But, I feel a little dangerous today, so let’s see if we can’t make some sense of it. 

How many of you saw the very funny movie, My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding, which came out a number of years ago now?  As you remember, it’s about a large ethnic family focusing on their awkward daughter who pursues her dreams, falls in love and marries.  But, there is a scene early on in the film that, I think, gives great insight into our dangerous passage from Ephesians.  After years of working in the family restaurant, the daughter decides she wants to go to college.  She musters up the courage and asks permission of her father, who immediately says “no”.  Crying on her mother’s shoulder the mother responds, “Don’t worry, I will talk to your father.”  Feeling the hopelessness of the situation the daughter responds, “He won’t change his mind.  He is stubborn. ‘The man is the head of the household.’”  The mother strokes her daughter’s hair and smiles, and says, “Yes, the man, he is the head. But the woman? She is the neck. And I can turn that head any way I want.”

That funny scene gives us a new perspective on these words from St. Paul, and that’s exactly what is needed.  The problem with this phrase from Ephesians, “Wives be subordinate to your husbands,” is that we tend to isolate that passage and not look at the rest of the reading.  Alone, this passage is troubling and seems to support a subjugation of women, but that is an understanding that is out of context.  When we look at the bigger picture, we find St. Paul not encouraging a chauvinistic household, but one that is balanced; not one where husbands lord authority over wives, but one where everyone is subordinate; everyone is the servant of the other. 

There are two keys to this reading – the first is the initial words we heard today, “Brothers and sisters, be subordinate to one another.”   We are all called to be in that position of subordination to each other, deferring to each other, serving each other.  So, if “wives be subordinate to your husbands” is true; then it is also true to say, “husbands be subordinate to your wives,” “children be subordinate to your parents,” “parents be subordinate to your children.”  This reading doesn’t want to perpetuate a power dynamic, it wants to eliminate it; leaving in its wake a community of servants. “Be subordinate to one another.”

What does this subordination or servanthood look like? Just a few lines before today’s passage, St. Paul gives us that detail.  He writes, “Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.” 

This is the point that St. Paul wants to make, we are not called to be powerful in relation to each other, we are called to be powerless; we are not called to be lords over one another; we are called to serve.   This is the point of our faith – to reject the ethos of our society that wants us to subjugate those around us; to focus on what makes one person better than the other; to grabbing more for ourselves even to the detriment of others. It asks us, quite simply, to see one another; and not just some;  not as competitors, but as brothers and sisters. To be servants of all; to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; to be forgiving. 

St. Paul asks that question in our hearts today – are these the things that define who we are through the grace of our baptism?  When someone looks at us do they see compassion and kindness, gentleness and a spirit of forgiveness or do they find judgment, greed or perhaps worse, indifference?

Let us pray to cast off the old and put on the new.  Let us look at the world in a new way, through the eyes of faith, eyes that cause us to ask not what can I get, but what can I give; not who will serve me, but rather who can I serve today.  My friends, let us be servants to one another and to all out of reverence for Christ and through our simple acts of kindness and service, let us change the world.

May the Lord give you peace.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Find yourself in Christ

HOMILY FOR THE 20TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, August 19, 2012:
.
We come today to the final Gospel passage in our four-week reflection on the Eucharist in John’s Gospel, often called the Bread of Life Monologue.  But as Jesus comes to the end of this beautiful teaching on the Eucharist, we hear, “The Jews quarreled among themselves saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’”  For many, the beauty and the mystery of the Eucharist is something too hard to believe.

I came across an article a while back that tried to describe the practice of perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  We’re lucky enough to have St. Clement’s here in the city offering the opportunity any time of day or night to pray in adoration before the very Body and Blood of Jesus.  But, much like those in today’s Gospel passage who couldn’t understand what Jesus was talking about; this newspaper article also didn’t quite understand when it comes to the Eucharist.  The article began, “The adorers sit in silence before the wafer.”  It went on to call Eucharistic Adoration an “unusual Catholic ritual” and to say that adoration “reflects an embrace of the teaching of Catholicism that many find hardest to understand: the belief that, during Mass, bread and wine are literally transformed into the body and blood of Jesus.”

As you and I know, the Eucharist – the Body and Blood of Jesus – isn’t a wafer; it isn’t unusual, and it isn’t the hardest teaching to understand.  Rather, the Eucharist is the very core of who we are and what we are called to be as followers of Jesus.

This time of year is one that naturally seems to lead me to reflect on that question of what we are called to be; the question of identity.  Just this past week, Fr. Rick, Fr. Mike and myself travelled to watch our former postulants Robert and Walter as they were received into the novitiate – a special year of prayer at the end of which they will profess the religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as Franciscans. As they were received it reminded me that 19 years ago this week marks the day when I and Fr. Mike first professed our vows as a religious; and for Fr. Rick is was 20 years. As I reflect on those 19 years, which have gone by far too quickly, I realize that what happened on that day of my religious profession was really something simple: it was an embrace of my identity before God. Before entering the Franciscans, my life was a bit of a ping-pong ball jumping from one thing to another to discover what I was supposed to do.  I worked as a mall security guard, I owned a florist shop, was a prep chef in a restaurant, worked on an apple and peach orchard, did painting and wallpapering, worked in retail, was a family crisis counselor, and for the longest period of time was an investigative news reporter for six years.  In the midst of all of those things, I was most definitely someone in search of their identity.  Who was I supposed to be?  Who did God want me to be?

And, what eventually lead me to religious life and to discovering my truest identity in the sight of God – as a Franciscan and as a priest – was the Eucharist.  After struggling with faith in my teens and early 20s, I eventually met Jesus – the real, living, truly present Jesus – in the Eucharist.  Once that had happened, all of the fogginess of a youth spent searching for something cleared and my identity – who and what God wanted me to be; my vocation  – was staring me in the face.  There was no decision to be made at that point except the decision to follow.  You see, the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist acts as a mirror to our souls, each Eucharist helping us to see who we have been created to be.

We see this in today’s Gospel.  Jesus speaks of His own identity in the Eucharist.  He speaks of the Eucharist, not only in the ordinary terms of bread and wine, but even more powerfully, He speaks of this bread and wine as being His flesh and His blood. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” 

Flesh and blood.  We use that phrase all the time – usually to refer to the whole person.  And so does Jesus.  He reminds us even that this Eucharist is Him – flesh and blood, the whole person.  If there were any doubt remaining, He states boldly and plainly, “I am the living bread that came down from Heaven.” Jesus equates the bread from Heaven with Himself totality.  This is not a part of Jesus.  This truly is Jesus – flesh and blood, so to speak.

Knowing that Jesus equates the Eucharist with His total person, we can see that it is an understatement to say merely that the Eucharistic bread is the Body of Christ. It is certainly more than a “wafer.” And it is even more than the Body of Christ. It is the whole of Christ. Using the traditional expression, it is “the body and blood, soul and divinity” of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus is not only present in the Blessed Sacrament, rather in the Blessed Sacrament the fullness of Jesus is completely revealed.

And as we receive that full presence of Jesus in the Eucharist we are meant to discover the full presence of ourselves there too; our whole and best self.  Just as Jesus is truly present in this Sacrament; we must be truly and fully present to Him here too. Jesus reveals His full and complete identity to us in the Eucharist in the hopes that we will look into that mirror and see our identity.  Who we are is never complete unless it is who we are in the sight of Jesus. 

And so, we don’t just hear these readings about the Eucharist this summer and say, “Got it!  Bread and wine to Body and Blood.”  Rather, take a moment and see the Eucharist anew.  As the Body and Blood of Jesus are elevated during the Holy Mass today, look into the mirror that is the full and complete presence and identity of Jesus in the Eucharist.  What is Jesus reflecting back to you?  Who are you – what are you – in the sight of your Lord?  What Jesus reflects to you there is the most complete, best, happiest and holiest person you can ever be.  Seek to become the person that you see reflected back to you when you gaze into the Eucharistic face of Jesus.  Let us all pray to have the courage to cast off everything else and embrace our identity in the sight of Jesus.

As we receive Holy Communion today, let us be conscious that we are receiving Jesus Christ Himself – totally, fully, completely – and let us open our hearts to receive the new life that He brings to us.   As we learn more about the very identity of Jesus through this Communion, let us remember that Jesus also wants to tell us something about our own identity, who He wants us to be. Let us become what we receive.

May the Lord give you peace.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"I am the bread that came down from heaven"

HOMILY FOR THE NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, August 12, 2012:


During one hot summer day, a priest was conscious to keep his homily brief due to the heat, so after the Gospel he said simply, “Well, we all know it’s hot in here, but it’s even hotter down there.  So, be good and love Jesus!”  Well, my homily today will be a little longer than that, but I’ll try and keep it brief.

We heard in our Gospel passage today Jesus proclaimed, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever.”  Today’s Gospel passage continues our four-week reflection on the Eucharist as we hear another part of the Bread of Life monologue from John’s Gospel. 

We find in today’s passage a lot of confusion about what Jesus is talking about.  We hear that “the Jews murmured” because Jesus had called Himself the Bread from Heaven.  You see, they knew who Jesus was, who His parents and family were.  They knew where He came from.  How could He say that He came down from heaven?  The problem really comes down to the difference between their expectations and the reality they had in front of them.  The reality before them, Jesus, differed from their expectations of what the Messiah should be and so they did not recognize the moment of their Visitation.

The people expected the Messiah to, literally, come down from heaven. They were waiting for spectacular events and supernatural manifestations in the sky when they would literally see the Anointed of God coming down in the clouds. So when Jesus, the carpenter’s son, came forward and claimed that “I am He,” they could not reconcile the reality before them with the expectations in their minds.

They knew this Jesus all too well, or at least they thought they did.  And the result was that they missed the very presence of God, the Word made Flesh, in their midst.  The message, I think, is the same for us – when we insist that God must meet our expectations and our reasoning before we can believe, we too will be in for a big surprise; and we too could miss the very presence of God dwelling in our midst.

So, how does God come down from heaven? How does God come into our lives? Well, God comes to us in very ordinary ways.  Today, God will come to us by transforming ordinary bread and wine into the extraordinary Body and Blood of His Son.  If we are looking up to the sky for the clouds to part and that Bread to descend dramatically; if we are waiting for trumpet blast and a choir of angels; if we expect a bright light to break out in our midst; well, we too will miss the reality of God’s presence on our very altar.  A presence that He promises to manifest not only on our altar, but deep within our hearts and beings as we take that precious Body of Christ into ourselves.  St. Francis of Assisi put it this way writing of the Eucharist, “The Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under the simple form of bread! Look at the humility of God and pour out your hearts before him.”

This presence of God in our midst today and every day is so simple, so ordinary, that we just might miss it; but with eyes, minds and hearts open it is so profound, so spectacular that if we are open to it, our lives will be changed.  We will become what we receive!  We will become the very presence of God – through His indwelling in this Sacrament – for all those we meet.  We come into this Church each week as our ordinary selves, but we depart as living, breathing, walking and talking Tabernacles of the Lord brining His Divine Presence to our homes, our families, our friends and even to the strangers we meet.

Once are eyes are opened; one we become re-tuned to where and how God manifests Himself to us we begin to see that He is present all around us.  In Word and Sacrament – yes; but also in the beauty of the world He created for us; in the gift of life itself; in the love shared between family and friends – through the gifts of compassion and care that we receive every day. He comes to us in the ordinary people we meet in our everyday lives.  So, today let us take a second look at those people we know all too well — or at least we think we do — those people we often take for granted. These men, women and children may indeed be the messengers that God has sent to us to speak a message to us to assure us of His love and care.

Let us not “murmur” like those around Jesus did.  The question is not whether God comes to us, but whether we are able to recognize God at work in our lives.  The Presence of God in Word and Sacrament should lead us to a recognition of the presence of God all around us.  As we take the precious Body of our Lord into our own bodies today, let us ask God through that Sacramental Grace to open our eyes, ears, hearts and minds to a greater recognition of His presence in our midst.

“Amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.”

May the Lord give you peace.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Winter always leads to Spring

HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF OUR HOLY MOTHER SAINT CLARE, August 11, 2012:

The Solemnity of Our Holy Mother Clare is always such a special moment in the life of all of us who follow these two great Saints of Assisi.  It has been my honor on many occasions to be right here with you good sisters to celebrate and tonight is no exception.   However, as we know, this celebration of Our Mother Clare is an especially wonderful one.  We bring to a close tomorrow this Claritian Year – this year to commemorate the beginning on the consecrated life of St. Clare and the founding of the Order of Poor Clares.

It is good, I think, that we are gathering at dusk on this night for this commemoration, as we are recalling another evening – that of Palm Sunday in the year 1212.  If you will picture in your heart and mind for a moment, the young Clare, just 18 years old.  We believe that earlier that day at Palm Sunday Mass she received the permission of Bishop Guido of Assisi for what she would do that night through the symbolic gesture of the palm branch.  As darkness enclosed our holy city of Assisi, Clare slipped out of her family’s home in the Piazza San Rufino.  We can imagine her rushedly making her way through Assisi’s serpentine streets eventually sweeping through the city walls making her way, perhaps guided by a few friars who met her at the edge of the city, to the small Chapel of the Portiuncula in the valley below where the lesser brothers, St. Francis chief among them, were waiting to receive her into poverty, chastity and obedience.  In this incredible act of holiness, of submission, of humility, St. Francis cuts her hair, the religiously symbolic action of giving up everything for Christ, and then leaving behind the finer garments of Assisi’s nobility, she is wrapped in the habit of penance and thus a heart is set ablaze for Christ and an Order of holy women is born.  You can even see that hair today, kept in a reliquary in Assisi; her golden locks appearing as though they just landed there freshly shorn.

I give you this image tonight because I want to invite us all, perhaps ironically, not think about the life of Our Holy Mother St. Clare.  I invite us today, perhaps ironically, to not recall the great and wonderful stories of her time at San Damiano as the sisters came; as they spread throughout the region, throughout the world eventually even to this house of holy women here in Andover.  I invite you not to think about the miraculous bread, the miraculous oil, the defense of Assisi, the vision of the Holy Mass, the stories of the great life of this holy woman.

I invite us instead to remain in that small Chapel of the Portiuncula on that dark Palm Sunday night 800 years ago.  I invite us to remain with that 18 year-old girl – fleeing home, family, wealth, security, position, prestige, nobility – remain with  her surely nervous, hands trembling as they clutched her cloak around her; perhaps questioning as her hair fell to the floor; perhaps frightened as she was shuffled off to a Benedictine convent. 

What do you think was in her heart that day?  Of course, anxiety and nervousness.  Perhaps even fear and trembling at the radical step she was taking?   But also, I’m certain, excitement and joy.  She had been dedicated to a holy life for a long time – by 18 she was already well known for her prayerfulness and her solicitude for the poor.   I think on that night, the overwhelming feeling in her heart was the bright light of hope.  At last, her unfathomable love for Christ, her spouse, would find its fulfillment.  The brilliant light that was Clare, a light fueled by the light of Christ within her, lit up the darkness of that Palm Sunday night – it lit the darkness with a fervent desire to live for Christ and for Him alone; to be gathered in community with sisters to gaze, consider, contemplate and imitate Christ.  It was a light that would light up the whole world.

I invite us to remain with the young Clare in that Chapel because I think here in our own world and in our own times, it is that Clare that we need more than ever.  We can be tempted to think of ourselves in decline in this day and age.  Our numbers decrease; our age increases and we wonder what the future holds for us and for this way of life. We hear of a vocation crisis; of fewer people in the pews and it can make our hearts heavy.  In his letter to commemorate the Feast of St. Clare this year, our General Minister Br. José speaks of us finding ourselves living through a season of Winter in our religious life.

He writes, “Winter, at first glance, is a time of death: the green of vegetation disappears, the leaves fall, there are no flowers, and the season of fruit has passed. Winter puts hope to the test, hope which is nourished by patient waiting for the return of Spring and the fields clothed with flowers that will give way to fruit.”

My sisters, my friends, it is easy to let Winter get the better of us sometimes.  We can let darkness and silence of that season lead us to believe that it will never end.  Certainly the times that Clare and Francis found themselves living through were also a season of Winter.  There was widespread corruption in the Church and in the world and people’s hearts had grown cold. But, they knew, as we also know that Winter always leads to Springtime.

Again from the General Minister, “The death that seems to mark Winter is not really such. Beneath the apparent sterility there is a process of revitalization developing. This is the season in which the roots are busily working, storing up all the sap and life-force necessary to transmit new life in Spring, so that in Summer the fruits can be harvested. With their silent and hidden work the roots make possible the rebirth of life.  Beyond the appearances, Winter is called to be a kairos, a great opportunity to grow in depth, and to be purified, to return to what really counts.  Through the Winter that we are experiencing, I am convinced that the Lord calls us to radicality. Such radicality does not consist in spectacular gestures, but in a patient and hidden tending of roots that, in the last analysis, can be reduced to a radical faith in the One for whom nothing is impossible.”

Winter always leads to Springtime.  We are called to tend and nurture those roots.  We are called to prayer and faithfulness and above all to hope.  So, let us remember that 18 year old girl with all the world ahead of her.  On that night, she was one woman, alone with her brothers, desirous of a life dedicated to God in cloister, but also in poverty – something unheard of for women of her time.  She was one woman alone in Winter.  Yet, from her would Spring countless holy women across the world and across time because Winter always leads to Springtime.

So, what can we take away from this Year of St. Clare; this remembrance of her entrance into religious life and the birth of this beautiful Order?  We can take away the same excitement, joy, nervousness and most profoundly hope that Spring is just around the corner.  We can recall that all Spring needs is one person – one man or one woman – with the fire of Christ’s love burning in their heart to hasten away the Winter.  We can continue to let the light of Christ grow in our hearts and shine for our world like it shone so brightly in St. Clare.  We can be firmly convinced that this is not the end of the last 800 years but just the beginning of the next 800 years.  As Pope Benedict wrote in his commemoration of this event, “Just as it had happened for Francis, Clare’s decision also contained the hidden shoot of a new community, the Order of Poor Clares, which, having grown into a sturdy tree, in the cloister’s fertile silence continues to scatter the good seed of the Gospel and to serve the cause of God’s Kingdom.”   Let us plant again. Let us tend the “little plant” because in our hearts, in our prayers, in our convents and friaries are also contained the hidden shoots of the next Springtime.  Let us tend them so that this Spirit of Clare and Francis may continue to grow and produce fruit in the days, years and centuries ahead.

We read in her Bull of Canonization that Clare “gleamed in the world, in Religion she outshone; in her house she enlightened as a ray, in the cloister she flashed as lightning. She gleamed in life, after death she radiates; she was clear on Earth, in the sky she shines back! O how great the strength of the light of this one and how strong the illumination of this clarity of hers! This light, indeed, remained enclosed in secret cloisters, and outside it emitted sparkling rays; it was gathered in a convent, yet it was sprinkled upon the entire age; it was guarded within, and it flowed forth outside. For indeed, Clare lay hidden, but her life lay open; Clare was silent, but her fame shouted out; she was concealed in her cell and she was known among cities. Nor is it surprising; because a light so enkindled, so full of light, could not be hidden away so as to not shine and give a clear light in the house of the Lord.”

Let us radiate the light of Christ just as St. Clare did. Let us fill the darkness of this night with a brightness that cannot be contained.  Let us pray the Winter’s end and the beginning of a new Springtime for the years ahead.

May Our Holy Mother Saint Clare intercede for us; may she bless us with newness of life; and may the Lord give us His peace.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hungry?

HOMILY FOR THE EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, August 5, 2012:
.
John was a good and holy man, and when he passed away, the Lord Himself greeted him at the pearly gates of heaven. “Are you hungry, John?” the Lord asked. “I could eat," said John. The Lord opened a can of tuna, and they shared it. While eating, John looked down into Hell and noticed the inhabitants devouring enormous steaks, lobsters, pastries and fine wine.  The next day, the Lord again asked John if he was hungry, and John again said yes.  Once again, a can of tuna was opened and shared, while down below John noticed a feast of caviar, champagne, lamb, truffles, brandy and chocolates. The next day, mealtime arrived and another can of tuna was opened.  Meekly, John said, "Lord, I am very happy to be in heaven as a reward for the good life I lived. But, this is heaven, and all I get to eat is tuna. But in the Other Place, they eat like Kings. I just don't understand." "Well, to be honest, John," the Lord said, "for just the two of us, it really doesn’t pay to hire a cook."

Jesus said, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”  We find ourselves today in the midst of a four-week cycle in our readings that invite us to reflect upon the incredible gift of the Eucharist. Last week we saw the multiplication of loaves and fishes; next week Jesus tells us that He is “the bread of life;” and the week after that He will remind us that whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood “has eternal life.”  While these weeks focus naturally on the material of the Eucharist – this bread from Heaven, this manna in the desert, this flesh and blood – today reminds us that there is more to eating than food.  There is also a simple question: what do we hunger for?

Jesus offers us this most incredible food ever – a food that feeds not merely the body for a moment, but the soul for eternity; but he wants to know if this is what we want to eat.  There are so many competing hungers in our world – things like wealth, power, material goods, or popularity; and of course other hungers like love, truth, and everlasting life?  In our Gospel passage, Jesus addressed this issue with those who sought him after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves that we heard about last week. Were they simply hungry for things which satisfy the body or for that which satisfies the heart and soul?  Jesus echoes the question posed by the prophet Isaiah: “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?”

We are reminded that there are two kinds of hunger – physical and spiritual – and that only God can satisfy the spiritual hunger in our heart and soul – the hunger for truth, for holiness, for completeness, for wholeness, for happiness, and for love.

He wants us to be hungry for this new type of living.  We are called to be hungry for life of love and service, and the forgiveness of others that corresponds to God's mercy and kindness; a life of holiness and purity which corresponds to God's holiness; and a life of submission and trust which gives witness to the wisdom of God.  In other words, we are called as St. Augustine said to “become what we receive.”  This is the heart of the Eucharist; that we do not merely consume it, but become it; we become Christ; we become what we receive.

It all comes down to that fundamental question – what are we hungry for?  Are we hungry to be fed on the bread that the world offers? It is a false bread, that will only feed for a moment but leaves us ultimately hungry and incomplete.  Or do we hunger for the bread that comes down from heaven?  Do we thirst for the words of everlasting life?

The crowd we see in today’s Gospel seem to want to fill the wrong hunger.  They clamor for Jesus not because they want holiness and eternal life; they just want more bread. They want to make him a mere king who fills the stomach with bread.  But Jesus chastises them for missing the opportunity before them: “You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.”   Because of this, Jesus hid away from them. He did not want to be identified primarily with feeding stomachs. He wanted to be seen as One who has come to nourish the human spirit with the food that satisfies every hunger of the human heart, the food that does not perish but that gives life eternally.

The Lord wants to know, what do we hunger for?  Do we hunger for Him and Him alone?  He is ready to feed us once again today and everyday.  Are we hungry for what only Jesus can give?

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

May the Lord give you peace.