Child of God, though Miracles show God’s generosity to us, there is more to them. Jesus does not want us to depend only on them. Jesus wanted the crowds of today’s Gospel reading to make the necessary but tedious journey of moving from the stomach to the heart in order to understand Him and his teaching on the Bread of Life!
Dear child of God, today many Christians still search for Jesus for the wrong reasons. This has made many preachers and pastorpreneurs cash in on the credulity of these Christians in order to offer them the “versions” of Jesus and Christianity they are looking for by all means. For these Christians, what matters to them are miracles not minding “where” the “miracles” come from.
But for Jesus what matters for Him are not miracles, but the GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE/GIFT OF FAITH.
Child of God listen, Jesus has more to give than miracles. Jesus tells the crowds that they only have to believe in Him. “Miracles are a bonus, not the goal. Signs are what point us to the goal. Conversion is the goal. Deepening our intimacy with God is the goal. Greater holiness in daily life is the goal”.
“Believing” means I give myself over to him and to his message of truth and love. This is precisely what St. Stephen did in Acts 6:8-15 by teaching and living the truth. And eventually died for the truth.
He was filled with the Holy Spirit and thus was able to bear courageous witness to the Truth. We too can be filled with the Spirit when we totally and completely open ourselves to the gifts of God’s presence within us.
Finally for Jesus, what the Jews and indeed all Christians should strive after is the gift of faith . It is this faith that will enable the Jews, the first audience of Jesus to seek Him for the Bread of Eternal Life and not merely to be fed again and again. For us Christians, let us pray for this gift of faith to recognize and reverence Jesus the Bread of Life in the Holy Eucharist and in the Scripture.
When we fail to recognize and accept Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, we have already made a fundamental mistake as we shall see when the discourse on the Bread of Life progresses. Lord, grant me the grace to seek You who is Truth like St. Stephen did. Amen.
+REV FR EMMANUEL UZOH (NWACHINAEMERE)