What is it you truly hunger for? This question is at the heart today’s gospel, as Jesus identifies himself as the Bread of Life. The people wanted a “sign” from Jesus so that they could believe in him. Ultimately, they were looking for him to keep feeding them bread to satisfy their hungry stomachs. But Jesus moves them from their stomachs to their hearts.
What, in your heart, do you really and truly hunger for? What are your deepest desires? The truthful answers to these questions will determine how deep we will grow spiritually and how meaningful our lives will be. If our deepest hungers are for material success, the newest forms of technology, lots of nice clothes with labels of status, receiving awards and degrees, making enough money and then some, to have comforts and luxuries... if these are truly our deepest hungers, we will never find inner peace, our lives will always feel empty.
Jesus satisfies hungers which run much deeper than these realities, while important, are not ultimate, nor do they last. Jesus is trying to teach us that our deepest hungers are rooted in experiencing God’s love for us, a love that is unconditional, lavish and unending. From this relationship with a living God flows everything else. Perhaps we have it backwards, the “cart before the horse,” as we want the things we think will bring us happiness BEFORE the experience of God’s love and mercy. Let yourself be loved by God first, HUNGER for this experience, and then love God in return.
We hunger for acceptance, meaning, mercy, inner peace, knowing our lives really matter. These hungers can only be realized by God and they must be yearned for every day of our lives. A life of daily and committed prayer is the only way we can be conscious of what we hunger for. And from this life of prayer must come an honest answer as to the hungers for which we are