Monday of the Third Week of Easter

The Feeding of Five-Thousand astounded all who were present, and after Jesus and His disciples departed, they went looking for Him. They find Him in Capernaum, surprised that He had arrived though they did not see Him take the boat with His friends.

Jesus reads their hearts and calls out the real reason they sought Him: it was not because they’d seen a miracle, but that the miracle they saw also filled them. They were hungry, the impossible took place, and it was real; they felt it in their own bodies. How could they question what they had seen, if they could taste and feel the miraculous bread and fish, if it truly did satisfy their hunger? Clearly they came back to Jesus not looking for another miracle, but an explanation: who is this man that could miraculously provide for them like this, who could take so little and multiply it to satisfy thousands?

Jesus goes on further, telling them they ought not to have come all this way simply seeking more food for their bellies; rather they should come seeking what they truly crave: that to which He refers in the Beatitudes when He says “Blessed are they who hunger for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Mt. 5:6) This righteousness, this obedience to the will of God, is what they truly long for, the very same food that nourishes Jesus (John 4:34); hence they ask Jesus “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” They long for salvation, for eternal life; they yearn for it in their very bones and since that miraculous feeding they cannot help but wonder if perhaps Jesus can show them the way. He tells them that the Son of Man will give them the food that endures for eternal life but He does not reveal His identity to them, for they do not yet know Him.

We are blessed, however, to know His secret: Jesus will not show us the way, nor will He simply give us food for eternal life. Rather, we know by faith that Jesus is the Way and He is the Life; He gives us Himself. “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus tells us that God’s work is for us to believe in the one He sent. Let us turn with our whole hearts toward Jesus in the Eucharist and believe—know Him—there in all sincerity. Jesus was sent to us by God that we might know Him in our heart, that we might have abundant life; not simply so that God could show Himself to us. To believe—to trust—is to love, and this is how Christ desires us to know Him, for to love Jesus is to love the one Who sent Him, and to love God salvation: to love God is Heaven.

May 5th, 2014