18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
John 6:24-35
1st Reading – Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15

Hunger

Hunger is a terrible thing. Every night all over the world untold numbers of people go to bed hungry. The pangs of hunger are feelings that some children know on a daily basis. Parents go without their own food to feed their children. Crimes are committed to somehow get food. Death from lack of food is not uncommon in some societies.

In the first reading from Exodus the Israelites are complaining to Moses. “The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But you had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!’” Slavery looked better to them than lack of the food they had in Egypt!

Most of us have experienced the feeling of being hungry, but we also knew that food soon would become available to us. We have been blessed with abundance – not the desperate longing for food.

There are other ways that we as humans hunger. We hunger to be loved. We long to be accepted and needed. Some hunger for financial security. Others want to succeed at something and become well known or famous. Some just long to be at inner peace. These can be deep seated hungers. It might be helpful for all of us to ask ourselves what is our deepest hunger. What do we truly long for? The answer could be very telling!

In last week’s gospel Jesus fed a crowd with bread. In today’s gospel the crowd still seeks Jesus because they want more from him. “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.’” We may be able to identify with having our fill but still wanting more. Are we satisfied when our longings are filled or are we always seeking more?

As people of faith the only way we will be truly fulfilled, have our deepest longings realized, is to believe with all our heart the last line of the gospel. “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.’” Can we take the leap of faith to seek God above all else?

What are your deepest hungers?

How are you growing deeper in faith and your relationship with God?

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