The Deepest Hunger, The Enduring Food | Word from the Shepherd No. 140 | 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time B

18th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B
Exo.16:2-15; Eph.4:17-24; Jn.6:24-35

Paolo Coelho said: “Human beings can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. It is the worst of all tortures, the worst of all sufferings.”

What do we thirst for or really hunger for? To be rich and famous? Live a high life? Be helpful? Be content? Be at peace? Like a hunter, we hunt….hunt for food, not just ordinary food but food for the heart.

The food for the heart is expressed in our need to be accepted, feel wanted, feel loved, feel to be better, richer and more important than everyone else. These hungers get deeper and deeper, till we hunger for God.

Maslow, in his ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ laid out human needs, which begins with basic needs, flowing in stages into safety needs, love needs, esteem needs, self actualisation needs and finally the search for self transcendence.
This is the deepest hunger, the hunger for God, for Christ.

But the people missed the point. They were looking for the perishable food. Jesus taught the deep truth, the foundation for true gratification – hungering for the food that endures to eternal life. This is found in The Christ, the Bread of Life, the Bread from heaven.

  1. That the Bread is God Himself, who had come to be our bread, our life. The Bread was to make us His people, gather us to experience the brotherhood and sisterhood in the Father.
  2. That the Bread was to create One People in the One Bread, in the One God. The Bread came from heaven to awake a sharing people.
  3. That Bread was given, to inspire the “giving of self to one another” cycle.
  4. That Bread asked for TRUST, not faith. Faith believes, but trust gives. Trust is giving one’s life into God’s hand, for Him to do the miracle.

The hunger for God is for the GIVER, not the gift. It is seeking the enduring food , not the perishable one. It is about learning to give, not begging. It is about entrusting the little we have, to the God of abundance. The Spirit of the Eucharist underlies all miracles; Take, Bless, Break,Give. Many believe, only a few trust.

A saint once said, “If you find God, you will be satisfied. You will be satisfied if you live in splendour on the mountain top or you live in a slum hovel — because you have found the reason why you were born and why you have this hunger.”