[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.]
The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea
saw that there had been only one boat there,
and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat,
but only his disciples had left.
Other boats came from Tiberias
near the place where they had eaten the bread
when the Lord gave thanks.
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.”
6:23 from Tiberias: i.e., from the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.
6:25 Rabbi: A Hebrew title for respected Jewish teachers (1:38).
6:27 food which perishes: Earthly food is necessary to sustain earthly life, but because it is perishable it does not suffice to give us supernatural life or to safeguard against death (6:49). Only Christ can give us food that satisfies our spiritual hunger and gives everlasting life. The subsequent narrative will identify this heavenly food as the Eucharist (6:50–58).
Saint Pope John Paul II, in his Opening Address to the third general conference of Latin American Bishops said, “The Gospels clearly show that for Jesus anything that would alter his mission as the Servant of Yahweh was a temptation. He does not accept the position of those who mixed the things of God with merely political attitudes. The perspective of his mission is much deeper. It consists in complete salvation through transforming, peacemaking, pardoning, and reconciling love. There is no doubt, moreover, that all this makes many demands on the Christian who wishes truly to serve his least brethren, the poor, the needy, the outcast; in a word, all those who in their lives reflect the sorrowing face of the Lord.”
Christianity, therefore, must not be confused with any social or political ideology, however excellent. “I do not approve of committed Christians in the world forming a political-religious movement. That would be madness, even if it were motivated by a desire to spread the spirit of Christ in all the activities of men. What we have to do is put God in the heart of every single person, no matter who he is. Let us try to speak then in such a way that every Christian is able to bear witness to the faith he professes by example and word in his own circumstances, which are determined alike by his place in the Church and in civil life, as well as by ongoing events” (St Josemaría Escrivá, Christ Is Passing By).
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.