FOOD FOR ETERNAL LIFE

HOMILY  18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Different folks look to religion for different reasons.
Some take to religion because it makes them feel good.  Nothing wrong with this, but there is something more.
Some look to religion for prosperity (the prosperity gospel) looking for a hundred fold return in this life.  Not quite on target.  There is definitely something more.
Some seek religion as an escape from this world  into the spirituality of another world.  There is definitely something more right here and now.
In John’s gospel the people sought after Jesus because he fed them.
But Jesus offered them something more. “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”
Jesus, the bread of life, first of all nourishes us not to make us feel good but so that we will do good.  The something more is the great satisfaction that comes our way when Jesus feeds our hunger for meaning and purpose in this life and in the life to come.  There is a good feeling when one does good.
Secondly, Jesus, the bread of life, calls us blessed, not because we are filled with an abundance of this world’s goods, but because we have shared our abundance or what little we have with others.  God loves a cheerful giver.
Thirdly, the spiritual food we are given is given to us in this world in our bodies.  Christianity is a bodily religion.  The Word became flesh.  We believe in the resurrection of the body.  What makes Christianity a spiritual way of life is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our real lives , in our bodies, in this world.  The gospel is not an escape from this world but a transformation of this world into Christ.  Even cloistered monks and nuns work and pray for the the transformation of the world in Christ.
Jesus said:  “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Jesus is the “something more,” the Bread of Life.  No matter what,  our lives and hearts can be centered in Jesus.  It matters not if we don’t feel good; it matters not if we are not prosperous; it matters not if we want to run away from it all.  It matters not,  because our faith in Christ is everything.  Jesus is  our food for eternal life.

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