Monday, April 11, 2016

“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”

“Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.” ― Marcus Aurelius: (was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180)

Gospel Text: (JN 6:22-29)
[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.]
The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea
saw that there had been only one boat there,
and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat,
but only his disciples had left.
Other boats came from Tiberias
near the place where they had eaten the bread
when the Lord gave thanks.
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me
not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”

The gospel has Jesus telling us that we are not to work for food that perishes.  Rather, Jesus urges us to work for food that endures for eternal life. We find this food in our belief in Christ. 

When we profess to believe in Jesus, we must also ask ourselves these questions:    What does Jesus want me to do?  What am I doing for Jesus?  What will I do for Jesus?
Faith without good works is empty because profession of belief becomes lip service only.  Wish lists remain wishes until they are acted upon and realized.  

The essence of belief is commitment.  When Jesus preached about the "Bread of Life", he was talking about God Emmanuel, God with us in the person of Jesus, himself.  Even if Jesus had already ascended to heaven, his mystical presence is in the Church and the communion we believe and celebrate in the Eucharist.

To believe is to commit ourselves to the mission of Jesus Christ and integration through communion with the Church, the body of believers.  Eternal life can only be realized as the body of Christ.  That is why God said in the Transfiguration event:  "This is my beloved Son, listen to him."  To listen is to believe and to believe is to follow Jesus in his mission.

Further it is critical that we live what we believe and do that through our actions.  How we spend our time is very telling – we may say whatever about our priorities but the truth is reflected in our activities and goals.  I know I must do some honest reflection upon how I spend my time and if they match what I espouse as most important. 

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