1.Exodus 16:2-4,12-15
Ephesians 4:17,20-24
John 6:24-35

The bread of purposeful living
I was once reading the news paper, I came across the passage which read  “ Three stupid stages of human life:1) Teenage life- You have time and energy but have no money; 2) Working life- You have money and energy but have not time; 3) Old age life- You have time and money but no energy.”

Last Sunday’s gospel we read about the way Jesus fed a very large crowd of people with very limited resources, only five loaves and two fish. Everyone had their needs met. After that, Jesus and his disciples crossed Lake Galilee. And today’s gospel tells us what happened after.  The people followed Jesus across the lake. When they met Him, as expected, their reaction was: “let us make Jesus our political leader so that we can well everyday and in order for us to have a supplier of our needs in abundance.” However, Jesus tells them frankly that they did not follow Him because they believe that he is the Messiah, the Son of the living God and they intend to grow spiritually. But because they merely want more food to eat, they want their food security be assured.

Furthermore, the next part of the gospel confirms this. They ask Jesus to act like Moses and to do again what Moses did to their ancestors, to give them more bread to eat. If Jesus does this, they will believe in Him. However, Jesus from a high note response surprises them by saying: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst,” ( v.35).
People were right in asking Jesus to give them bread. Their request was legitimate. From psychological point of view we are told that there are three levels of human nature. First, we are physical creatures with sensual gratifications, like eating, drinking, sex, which all of them need to be satisfied. It is under this background that we hunger for endless needs in our lives.

Second, we are psychological beings, capable of using our minds, feelings, and imaginations. Psychologically we are motivated by love, self respect, fame and esteem. That is why we hunger for feelings of importance, for nobody wants nobody, we hunger for relationships, for without them we are like a lone tree on the top of the hill at the mercy of every wind that blows. We hunger for faith, for faith is better company than imagination. We hunger for hope; just take away hope from human heart, and you make a person a beast of prey. We hunger for love, especially in cold climate. Isn’t it why so many want to run for political positions?

Third level is that we are spiritual beings having souls, hungering for beauty, truth, wisdom, and eternal fulfillment.That.That is why we hunger for a deeper one, that underlies all our other hungers, and that is the hunger for the bread of eternal life, which is the hunger for God. “Don’t work for the food that perishes but work for food of eternal life,” Christ admonishes.

In this context Jesus is not justifying us to stay idle or indulge in social and recreation or fend for material security. What he is saying is that we should not forget or neglect an equally important need in our life, that is the spiritual. Jesus by telling us that he is the bread of life he meant to live the way himself lived. We are invited to live the examples of Jesus. For example he gave himself over to meeting the basic needs of those he met. He healed the sick; he comforted the bereaved; he fed the hungry; he befriended and he befriended the lonely. He told us to do the same and declared that what we do for the least we do for him. In living in this way, we are preparing ourselves to live forever. Those who live by the values of the kingdom of God will inherit the Kingdom of God.

In the past, so many people including young people were going crazy with this F4 (Flower Four). This was the television show in Taiwanese of which the main Characters of the show were four girls considered to be beautiful than flowers; gorgeous, sexy, hot and most important mult-millionaire girls who have different personalities. Taiwanese band because of this popular television show, entitled the show ‘Meteor Garden’ by which the four girls were the main characters of the television show.  Let us have a look at another F4 which has a big connection with the bread of life which is Jesus himself.  This F4 is no other than: Forget your vices, foolishness and return to God, Forgive the wrongdoing and sins of others, Forego with your holiness by your prayers and service for God and others For God, that it focus and offer everything to God. May these powers of F4 always be our bread of life too.

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Chapisha Maoni