See, Believe, Come! (John 6:28-40)
The crowd, which ate the multiplied loaves and fish the previous day, ask Jesus, 'What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?' Jesus answers, 'This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent'.
For the Jew, whose religion was based on externals, this response made no sense. Their sense of sanctity was based on meticulously performing the works ritualized in the Law of Moses. They sought purity of heart by external washings. Now, Jesus is saying they will come to righteousness by an internal Event in their heart. He is displacing the letter of the Law with a life of Faith.
This Truth was too radical. Only after Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit –the Seal of his Word- was released upon the Church, would they begin to grasp the Truth. At this point, the crowd was like deer blinded by the headlights of what was overtaking them. Disoriented by Truth, they forgot their Miraculous Meal, and they demand a sign to attest to Jesus’ incomprehensible Word.
Jesus, re-rooting them in the Reality of yesterday’s miracle, tells them that He is the Sign they seek. He is the True Bread from heaven. He says, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.” Only in him will we find Nourishment that lasts. Jesus just set the Table for True Fulfillment, the Formula for Eternal Life, the Foundation of our Faith.
It is not enough to know the Truth. He explains, “…you can see me and still you do not believe.” To say ‘We see’ is not sufficient. The faith Jesus is calling us into demands the participation of our life. To “See” him is to encounter the Truth; to “Believe” is to espouse ourselves to it –to Him; to “Come” to him is to leave our Self behind, to lose ourselves in him –to become one with him, with his mission.
This is the foundation of his Eucharistic Vision for us: to encounter Jesus; to espouse ourselves to him with a Faith-Filled Yes; and to join our lives to his Mission, in the Union of his Holy Spirit. This is the path to True Fulfillment, to Life Eternal. It is his invitation for us to Become our Destiny –to be Betrothed to God.
And this Proposal is to all: “Now the will of him who sent me is that I should lose nothing of all that he has given to me… Yes, it is my Father's will that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and that I shall raise him up on the last day.”
Lord Jesus, open my eyes to see what you are holding out to me –when I say Amen to those beckoning words “The Body of Christ.” Embolden my faith to say “YES!” to you with every beat of my heart –to be united with you in the Love of our Father –to live my life empowered by your Holy Spirit, that I may become fully alive. May I be driven by your Love to share the Hope you sow in my Communion with you, the Bread of Life.