The Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 5, 2018
Fr. José Maria Alvim Cortes, F.S.C.B.

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In the name of the Father, of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

“Whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (Jn 6:35).

Today’s first reading tells us about the difficulties that the Israelites had in the desert. They were thirsty and hungry. They were dissatisfied and began complaining to Moses and Aaron. They had quickly forgotten their extraordinary delivery from slavery and the crossing of the Red Sea. Instead, they were nostalgic for the hearty food they had left behind in Egypt. Their dissatisfaction approached desperation. They had lost their trust in God.

Like the People of God, we also have moments in our lives when we feel dissatisfied. Sometimes we are not satisfied with our circumstances, jobs, families, money and, ultimately, with the lives we lead.

We need to think about why we are not satisfied. We are not satisfied because we thirst and hunger for the infinite. We have a spiritual need that other people and things cannot meet. Even if we possessed the entire world, it would not be enough.

The world tells us that if we are not satisfied with our jobs, partners or whatever, we should change them. The problem is that after awhile, our dissatisfaction invariably returns.

It is illusory to believe that our deepest aspirations can be fulfilled by earthly things. The answer that we need must come from above.

The readings say that God wants to be the answer to our hunger. God sent manna, heavenly food, to feed the Israelites. In the Gospel, Jesus says that he is the bread of life. He is the one who has the answer to our deepest needs.

“Whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

Jesus acknowledges that earthly food is necessary to sustain earthly life but it is perishable. Only Christ can provide eternal food that fully satisfies us.

Jesus is with us in the Eucharist. He wants to be the food for our journey. With his body and blood, with the Word proclaimed and the support of the community, he wants to satisfy our thirsty and hungry hearts.

Let us pray for Jesus to satiate our souls.  Amen.

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