August 5th Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
I remember during a time of confusion and discouragement in my life when I was trying to figure out a way forward, I spoke with many people and one very wise priest listened to my litany of woes and simply replied: “you have to learn to trust that Jesus always gives us what we need.”
It wasn’t the answer that I sought, and it seemed simplistic, but it stayed with me to this day. Jesus response to the crowd who seek him. He speaks of a bread that satisfies- whoever comes to me will never hunger- whoever believes in me will never thirst. They want some of this bread. ”sir give us this bread always.”
Sometimes we get confused between hunger and an appetite. A lot of us operate on the level of just wanting to consume something- anything. Hunger is a real tummy-rumbling need for food. Appetite is a learned behaviour that is influenced by sight, taste or smell. Appetite is triggered by many things. Hunger comes from a deep place. Why are we so easily confused and distracted between hunger and an appetite? There will always be “things” that can feed your appetite….but it doesn’t solve the problem of your hunger.
Jesus’ answer couldn’t be more direct and simple “I am the bread of life.” Is it simple or simplistic? Maybe, we find that when we come to Jesus as we do so many times, and we believe in him- that we still hunger. We hunger for many things- for friendship, for affection, for hope and many other spiritual realities. But when we get into touch with our deepest desires, you realise that only the love of God can satisfy us. It’s the love that makes us whole. Nothing else can satisfy. We put an awful lot into our search. I can only marvel at the people’s effort to find Jesus after he moved on in today’s Gospel, even commandeering a few boats. They gave considerable time and energy into looking for the one who inspired and filled them with hope.
You have to learn to trust that Jesus always gives us what we need. I have found these words to be true. I have found the Lord sustained me in every time of need, in ways and through people that I least expected. He is the bread of life that strengthen us on our journey.