Monday Homily - Third Week of Easter - Year I

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Being satisfied once by what Jesus had done for them,

the crowd wanted to see what else Jesus could do for them.

But they did not realize what the former miracle actually revealed to them.

Jesus refused to encourage them in their desire

for the material satisfaction he could provide.

The people may not have known it, but their needs went much deeper.

Jesus’ signs were given to reveal that he could meet those deeper needs.

Jesus was saying that the people should not follow him

because he provided free bread,

but because he provides spiritual “bread” –

bread that can give them eternal life.

Jesus wanted the people to look to him

as the one who could provide the food that endures to eternal life.

He himself is that food.

By coming to him and receiving him by faith,

we would partake of the Bread of Life.

The Bread of Life is a free gift from God.

But at the same time, Jesus says we should work for this food.

Fundamentally, the work to which Jesus calls us is to believe in him.

Here, we have to be careful of falling into the concept of faith alone.

Most of Protestant denominations believe

      that the work of trusting Christ is not by works, but by faith.

We, Catholics, hold that belief in Jesus leads us to action,

to the “work” of living out our faith in the world.

As we work out of our faith in Christ,

our faith then gradually grows and flourishes.

By serving other people, we ourselves are blessed,

because this is how God wants us to be bound to one another in love.

Caring for the sick, feeding and clothing the poor, and serving our families

all require that we pay a price of our time, money, and energy.

Grace, wisdom, and perseverance can flow

as we learn to rely not on our own resources,

but on our heavenly Father instead.

His love will comfort and sustain us.

So in this Mass, we pray to God to help strengthen our faith.

Having possessed a steadfast faith within us,

we are then encouraged to do good works

for the sake of the Kingdom of God and of others.

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