Satisfying immediate needs

The Gospel narrates a series of questions and answers between Jesus and the crowd. What is the content of the discussion? The crowd pursues Jesus, looking for concrete signs to satisfy their immediate needs. They have already been fed bread and are looking for more. However, Jesus challenges them to look at the deeper meaning to which the signs point. How does Jesus do this? He calls them to see the signs as revelation of himself as the “more” for which they look, the “more” that truly satisfies, the “more” they have already been given. He is “the bread of life.”

In the First Reading the people grumble because they are hungry, and God hears them and gives them “bread from heaven.” In the gospel the crowd is also looking for food, but Jesus offers them something new—himself as the new bread from heaven, “the bread of life.”

Are we ever satisfied? No! We are always pursuing better ways to meet our needs and wants, sometimes so intensely that we miss far greater gifts being offered to us. This gospel reminds us that the greatest gift has already been given to us—Jesus himself, “the bread of life.”