19th April 2021, Year B
Seek the Kingdom of God in all situations
Acts 6: 8-15
Ps 119: 23-24, 26-27, 29-30. (R. 1b).
Jn 6: 22-29
In the first reading, we encounter Stephen facing opposition for witnessing to the resurrection, in word and deed. Despite them being more in number they could not withstand his wisdom and the spirit that spoke through him, for he was “full of grace and fortitude”. However, people or the multitudes chose not to accept his testimony but rather give false testimony against him and set up false witnesses. How many times have we spoken ill of others? How many times did Jesus speak ill, even of the known “sinners”? If we truly seek to build each other, as Christians, we shall embrace the free gift of the spirit and testify to nothing but truth and the resurrection by our life.
When they sat in council and saw his face as if it has been the face of an angel: even the council could see the innocence in him. Similarly, we often, falsely and knowingly accuse others in order to preserve selfish motives, be it position, power, money, or at times nothing at all.
In the gospel, the disciples seek Jesus because of their hunger for bread. He challenges us that we may have a value system and give due priority to that which is more valuable. At times we seem not to know the need of having a value system. What comes our way or what is seemingly good for us at that particular moment is pursued even at that cost of the ultimate need of eternity. He came to transform our frail human nature into his divinity that we may seek Him above all else and witness to his wonders or mysteries.
We must aim at the imperishable nourishment Jesus speaks of and believe in the one whom God has sent. The people had gone in search of Jesus not because of faith but because of utilitarian and material motives. St Augustine of Hippo says, “How many are those who search for Jesus only to have from him temporal favors …! Rarely do we meet someone who looks for Jesus.” Jesus is not demanding from us a series of activities but only faith in him. Faith is not a single action; it is a life to be lived in a varying experience of daily life. In the measure we abandon our temporal and selfish motives in our search for Jesus, we fulfill the work of God, not our own.
Let us pray:
We thank you, Lord, for your mercy and love. May our hearts seek you in sincerity and truth, and testify to your resurrection through words and deeds. Amen.