‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered: ‘I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never be hungry; whoever believes in me will never thirst.’ (John 6: 34-35)
The people in today’s Gospel (John :30-35) are looking for free bread, and ask for a sign like Moses had given centuries earlier to their ancestors: manna in the desert. Jesus takes it from there and invites them to recognize in him the sign by going beyond focus on physical existence to the gift of God that gives life.
If they come to him they will have their hunger satisfied. If they believe in him they will never thirst for anything less.
A theologian (Bultmann) described God’s revelation as destroying every picture that the desires of a person invents, so that the real test of a person’s desire for salvation is to believe even when God acts in a way that is totally different from what the person expected.
St Eugene’s life was guided by his hunger and thirst to live as God wanted, as he noted in his journal in 1833:
There is no need of regrets when one has done one’s best. God makes use even of human mistakes to achieve his purpose. I do not know what he expects of me; all I know is that he governs with his wisdom those whose sole purpose is to work for his glory… If God has decided differently, he will direct events and bend the will of his creatures in such a way as to achieve his ends.
Today we desperately search for signs, yet there is only one lasting focus: “The one who comes to me will never hunger or thirst”