Sunday’s Reflection: In finding Jesus, they ask, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” (v. 25). The narrative in this Gospel can be understood on two levels, and that is true of this question. The crowd means to ask only about how Jesus transported himself to Capernaum. We have learned from last week’s story, (v. 22-23) that the crowd had noticed that there was only one boat and that Jesus had not gotten into it. Jesus got there by walking on the water—a miracle that speaks to his identity as the Son of God. At the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus satisfied their physical hunger, and now they are looking for more of the same.
Jesus challenges the crowd to raise their eyes to see beyond the physical realm. Jesus said, 27Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. Jesus is not saying that physical needs are unimportant. But now he calls the crowd to acknowledge their need for “food that endures for eternal life”—promising that the Son of Man will give them that food.
God feeds billions daily, but we take notice only when we miss a meal—or when the feeding takes place under dramatic circumstances. We, too, say, “Give us a sign, Jesus. Do something spectacular, so we can believe in you.” Sometimes we even present Jesus with trivial tests—”Find me a parking place, Jesus, and then I will believe.”
What are some spiritual things that nourish and sustain you in your day-to-day life? What spiritual practices are the ones you feel bring you closest to God? Richard Niell Donovan, Sermon Writer.