Aug 5 (Jn 6:24-35)

A man once had a fine-bred dog – an American Foxhound – named Jasper.

>> Jasper was trained well and the owner expected much of him.

Finally, after his ‘training’, Jasper was let go on a ‘hunt’ in the nearby forest.

As he was let free, Jasper got sight of an antelope and gave a spirited chase.

Soon, however, a startled rabbit came across the track of the antelope, diverting Jasper’s attention!

>> Forgetting the antelope, Jasper dashed after the rabbit.

Just as he was gaining momentum, a rat darted across the path!

>> Again, Jasper diverted and rushed after the rat, only to see it run into a hole in the ground.

Highly excited, scratching and barking, Jasper presented a picture of frustration – distracted from the ‘big thing’ to end up by barking into a hole in the ground!

Jasper had been trained and was expected to chase “bigger” preys; but ended up, grunting, lunging and scratching at something worthless!

The reason was simple:

• Losing sight of the bigger goal and instead, being distracted by something very petty and useless

• Unable to keep focus on the ‘more’ valuable aim and instead, being diverted by something very trivial.

Is my life also “losing sight” of the precious aspects of life?

>> Am I seeking “the right things” and the “proper entities” of life?

The Gospel of the Day is a call by our Blessed Lord to ‘refine’ our priorities in life and to ‘re-sort’ our concerns towards Him and His Kingdom.

Today’s Gospel passage forms part of the “Bread of Life” Discourse of the 6th chapter of St John.

Jesus, after having performed the ‘magnanimous’ miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, had His popularity ratings on a high.

There were many factors that propelled towards this…

>> Huge problems suddenly seemed to ‘shrink in size’ before Jesus, the Great God!

A huge crowd, who were ‘hungry’ had just been ‘satisfied’ to the full

>> Impossible situations suddenly seemed to be non-existent before Jesus, the God of all possibilities!

Just two little fish and five barley loaves became a medium of nourishment to thousands

There was naturally, immense excitement among the crowds with respect to Jesus.

• Before their own eyes, a ‘massive’ miracle had been wrought

• For their own stomachs, a ‘miraculous’ wonder had been performed

They would have felt themselves in similar situations as the people of Israel in the wilderness, when their leader Moses had fed them with food (Ex 16: 12-15)

Some among them would have also recounted the words of Jesus, elsewhere during His ministry: “Behold, something greater is here…” (Mt 12:41)

And so, the people, who had become ‘fans’ of our Blessed Lord, began to ‘seek’ – frantically and with great craze.

A personal experience of the Divine is to become a launching-pad in forging a personal relationship with the Lord!

• But a personal experience of the Divine, when not properly channelled, can also get deviated and remain fixated to mere devotion and emotional piety.

Jesus was very well aware of the danger that lay in ‘fickle’ crowds who followed Him – merely for ‘bread’ and not for a ‘life-transformation’.

And so He puts forward a probing challenge to the crowds who were desperately following Him:

“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” (Jn 6: 26-27)

The crowds were asked by Jesus to ‘refine’ their priorities in life and to ‘re-sort’ their concerns towards Him and His Kingdom!

The same exhortation is being rendered to us today: to ‘refine’ our priorities in life and to ‘re-sort’ our concerns towards Him and His Kingdom…

>> Do I follow the Lord only to be satisfied by the ‘bread’ of having our prayers always heard in the way I want and of ‘always’ enjoying prosperity in life…

… or do I also follow the Lord for His own sake – as the One who truly becomes the ‘Bread’ of life- my strength, my hope and my greatest asset in life?

>> Do I seek the Lord only when I am ‘given’ something by God; following merely a ‘receiving’ spirituality – that has hands always stretched out in anticipation to ‘get’ something from God…

… or can I grow in my hunger for Jesus, the Bread of Life, and also be willing to respond to His demand to “give” my life in service of Him, of His Kingdom and of His people?

As Christians, we ought to be persons who have our aims set on the “high” things of life – seeking Jesus and His Kingdom.

• Jesus ought to be the greatest treasure of our life

• Jesus ought to be the deepest satisfaction in our life

We are expected to chase up “bigger” preys.

ü But do we sometimes, end up, grunting, lunging and scratching at something worthless?

We need to make an examination of our lives.

Perhaps, we are…

• Losing sight of the bigger goal and instead, being distracted by something very petty and useless

• Unable to keep focus on the ‘more’ valuable aim and instead, being diverted by something very trivial.

Jesus, the Bread of Life – especially by His Holy Word and in His Holy Eucharist – invites us to wholly dedicate our lives in seeking Him alone.

Let us realise, that as true Christians, real fulfilment comes from more than “just making a living”; it comes, instead, from “making a life, in Jesus”

May we not be merely ‘bread-seekers’; instead be the sincere seekers of the One who is the True Bread of Life!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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