Seeking and Finding
August 1, 2021 (readings)
- Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
- Fr. Bernardo Torres, LC
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Opening Prayer: Dear Lord, here I am in your presence. Give me the light to understand what is hidden from me, that I can know better your will in my life. Please give me the grace to build my life on you, the solid rock.
The Crowd Was Lost: St. John noted that the crowd had been looking for Jesus. How long had they spent in that town looking for him before they found him across the sea? We can sometimes find ourselves in a similar predicament—looking for Christ in the wrong places, in earthly things that promise to give us fleeting happiness, but only leave us emptier, lonelier, thirstier, and unhappier than before. Where do we find Christ in our lives? In silent daily prayer, in the Sacraments, in the love of others, and in his created nature.
They Found Him: The crowd who found Jesus did not know what they wanted from him. Jesus told them frankly, “You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” We will find Christ when we seek him for himself, not for the gifts he gives. The words of St. John Paul II echo in our hearts: “Look at the Lord. What do you see? Is he just a wise man? It is more than that. Is he a prophet? Yes, but it is even more. […] Look at the Lord with attentive eyes and you will discover in him the very face of God. Jesus is the word that God had to say to the world” (to young people of Santiago April 2, 1987).
Jesus Wants to Be Found: Jesus looks at us not like the lost crowd but as a flock missing its shepherd. He reveals himself as patient, merciful, and charitable because he loves us. He offers what we are looking for: “I am the bread of life.” In other words, Jesus knows that it is him we want when we desire eternal life, when we pray, when we look for happiness, fulfillment, the truth. St. John Paul II again has something to say: “What does it mean to build your life in Christ? It means letting ourselves be engaged by his love. A love that demands consistency in conduct, which requires accommodating conduct to the doctrine and commandments of Christ and his Church” (to young people of Santiago April 2, 1987).
Conversing with Christ: My dear Jesus, thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you for the moments of difficulty in my life because they help me to want to seek you out with 24forever.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace help me to act out of love for you and nothing else.
For Further Reflection: Time For God, by Father Jacques Philippe.
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