May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be always acceptable in your sight, Oh
Lord our strength and our redeemer.
Hunger and Satisfaction.
We find this tension in ourselves every single day.
People say that you shouldn’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry.
You’ll end up buying things that you don’t need.
Things that wont actually satisfy your hunger.
Or: If I go out to dinner:
And eat an appetizer, salad, and the main course meal:
I usually feel worse:
Even if I was REALLY hungry.
When I over-fill: I can’t even function for the rest of the evening.
Shoveling it all in when you’re hungry wont actually satisfy you.
And you’ll just be hungry again…
We have a hard time stopping when we’re satisfied:
When we’re feeling Just right.
We have a hard time just sitting with “enough.”
We meet Jesus in today’s gospel just after he has fed the multitudes.
We pick up right where we left off last week:
The people were hungry, there was limited food:
And so Jesus turned a few loaves of bread:
And a few fish:
Into enough for thousands to eat.
For thousands to be filled.
There were even baskets full of leftovers.
Everyone had their fill of bread and fish.
They had the pleasure of eating enough.
They supposedly ate until they were satisfied:
Or at least satisfied for a brief time:
They had enough:
For a brief time.
Funny thing about “enough.”
Just what is “enough”?
“Enough” for us humans:
Is rarely enough.
We seem to always want more.
And even for the multitudes:
Enough wasn’t really enough.
Because the people weren’t merely hungry for food:
The people Jesus had fed wanted a guarantee that they would always have
Jesus’ provision of plentiful bread seemed to them something they wanted more
They wanted Jesus to continually give them more.
So they pursued him.
They thought if they could have him, they could have bread –
limitless, wonderful, unending bread.
They thought, if they could just find Jesus: they would have enough.
But enough would never be enough:
People will always want more:
Yet not the “real more”
Not the more that will truly and actually satisfy.
Jesus fed hungry people.
He knew that people need to eat.
He told his followers to feed people, real, physical, tangible, nutritious food.
But he also promised that he himself would be enough.
He didn’t want to be just a provider of physical bread.
To do miracles, so that people could eat a lot of food, from a little.
He wants to be our bread –
our sustenance, our nourishment, our daily strength, our source of satisfaction.
Physical food alone cannot satisfy our whole hunger.
The multitudes thought that they wanted unlimited food and drink:
They searched for Jesus—wanting him to give them more food:
And Jesus redirects their quest:
Telling them what they don’t really want to hear:
Yet it is an extreme word of Hope:
Jesus says: “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the
signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.”
Its as if he’s saying: You just want more food: But that will never satisfy you!!
He goes on to say: “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that
endures for eternal life.”
The people want the food:
And Jesus redirects them: by giving them himself.
His very self:
The only food that will ever really last:
The only food that will ever really satisfy.
The only food that we ever REALLY need.
Jesus is bread, but he wants to fill the hunger of our hearts and not just our
He wants to fill the gnawing, aching emptiness that we try to fill with lesser
That emptiness that we try to fill with that appetizer, salad, and full course meal:
Or with junk food on a hungry trip to the grocery story.
Or with money:
Or with big houses:
Or with big churches:
Or with power:
Or with worrying about having enough of anything.
None of those will ever be enough.
None of those will ever satisfy:
They will only possess us.
Jesus invites the multitudes,
To allow ourselves to fall into the hands of the one for whom we were made:
To be fully satisfied and fed by the only one who can truly feed and satisfy us.
Jesus is daily sustenance.
He is bread to be savored, gathered around.
Bread to inspire thanksgiving, to remind us of the wonder of life, to strengthen us.
We can contemplate him thoughtfully, chewing slowly, pondering:
But we will be satisfied: If we come to him:
Open to whatever he places in our outstretched hands.
And trusting that whatever He places there:
It will indeed be enough.
As a matter of fact:
The verb used in John’s gospel for believe:
Can also be translated as TRUST.
And I wish we read it as TRUST.
When Jesus urges the multitudes to strive for real satisfaction:
Through believing in God:
He’s also telling them to TRUST.
To TRUST that God is enough.
To TRUST that God alone can satisfy the hunger.
To TRUST that our abundant God has graciously given us everything we need:
And those other things:
That we cling to in hunger:
Are the things that will never satisfy as God does.
Jesus was taken, blessed, and broken.
He is to be shared.
He is enough to satisfy our every hunger:
He IS the bread of life: Whoever comes to him:
Whoever trusts in that truth: Will never be hungry.
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