Then they said to him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’ Jesus gave them this answer, ‘This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.’ (John 6: 28- 29)
In today’s Gospel (John 6:22-29) the people had been given free bread, so the next day they went out of their way to look for Jesus so as to receive more. Understanding their motivation, Jesus tells them not to look for bread that will eventually go stale and have no value, but for the “food that endures to eternal life.” They then ask what they must do to receive this. It is here that Jesus tells them to believe in the one God has sent.
“The ‘work of God’ is singular in nature, namely to believe the one sent by God. Belief in the one sent by God is not mere intellectual assent bur a complete reorientation of one’s life and personal relationship with him” (S.M. Lewis SJ)
Eugene, who had spent so many years “looking for happiness outside of God” knew this well and expresses this in a letter to one of his Oblate missionaries in Canada in 1857.
Then, in spirit, I pressed you to my heart, touched to the point of tears by all that you have had to suffer to conquer those souls for Jesus Christ, who has clothed you with his power and sustained you by his grace among so many difficulties. But also, what a reward you will have beyond this world, when one thinks of the wonders that have been brought about by the power of your ministry. One has to go back to the first preaching of Saint Peter to find anything similar. An apostle like him, sent to proclaim the Good News to those savage nations, the first man to speak to them of God, to bring them to knowledge of Jesus the Savior, to show them the way that leads to salvation, to give them rebirth in the holy waters of baptism – one can only prostrate oneself before you, so privileged are you among your brothers in the Church of God by reason of the choice that he has made of you to work these miracles.
Letter to Fr. Faraud 28 May 1857
How is the pandemic leading me to re-orientation of my life and relationships? Where am I looking for the food that leads to eternal life?