Readings: Acts 8:1b–8; Psalm 66:1–3a, 4–7a; John 6:35–40.
In today’s Gospel Our Lord invites the crowds, and invites us, to consider our path from here to eternity. We’re all going to live forever; the question is what that eternal life will be like. Our Lord wants us to live contentedly forever, and he expresses that through describing a life where we never hunger again, never thirst again. This hunger and thirst go beyond simple food and drink: contentment means we have everything we’d ever want or need.
We start on that path here and now, and Jesus doesn’t delude us: as we walk this path we’ll still hunger, still thirst. There’ll be trials and difficulties, and we will physically die sooner or later. By becoming flesh he walked that same path to encourage us from here to eternity. In the end he will raise us up, and if we believed in him we’ll live contentedly with him forever. Just as we need physical nourishment to live, he provides us with spiritual nourishment, the Eucharist, to help us along the way, to keep us strong, and to accompany us.
In the light of eternity, where we measure everything we experience in the light of forever, all the trials of this life, great and small, seem brief compared to the eternal joy that is to come. As the First Reading reminds us today, God can make good come out of the worst trials and setbacks if we believe in him. Let’s lift our gaze today from the immediate and pressing needs that surround us and consider the path that Our Lord invites us to walk with him, trusting that he’ll guide us through all of life’s ups and downs if we believe in him.