9 May 2019. Thursday of the Third Week of Easter
Reflection (Sem. Ryan Tristan O. Digan)
“Jesus is the bread of life. Anyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.” Our Gospel for today invites us to reflect on the things that we tend to cling on to especially during the times when we are so overwhelmed with joy and all the successes in life. How many times have we heard of stories of people who, despite their successes in life, still have a lot of discontentment and frustrations and how many times have we become like them too?
I can just recall how I have lived my life for more than 30 years outside the seminary. While I consider myself as a religious person, yet there were times in the past when I was too focused on myself. There were times when, in looking for satisfaction and contentment in life, I relied on material things, people and status. I thought before that acquiring material things could make me happy, that having a romantic relationship with someone could give me eternal joy, that possessing a good career could bring me fulfilment. While I recognize that those had somehow provided me a sense of joy and contentment in life, but they were all temporary and short-lived. I would still be hungry and thirsty if I focus myself on temporal satisfaction.
Now I realized why, some rich people, despite their wealth, still has a lot of problems in life. Though it is not for me to judge them, however, our Gospel is telling us today, if we focus on Jesus, we would not be anxious of unnecessary things. I just have to do my part, exert the best effort that I can give, and trust God for the rest. He will take care of me in the same way that He would also take care of you.
The Gospel Today
Jesus said to the crowds:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my Flesh for the life of the world.”