One of the best ways to celebrate the Easter Season is to continue to conform our lives to the one who gave his life for us that we may experience and be engaged in our life to the full. We can accomplish this better by putting into practice what we read in the Gospels as well as being open to encountering God in our daily experiences and one another.
Today’s Gospel reading continues after Jesus not only fed the 5,000 but also after he had walked across the Sea of Galilee and guided his disciples safely to the shore. Those who had eaten as a result of the multiplication of the loaves and fish, got in their own boats to follow Jesus to Capernaum as well.
When the crowd found and gathered around Jesus, he continued to teach them, guiding them to “not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” The people asked him what they could, “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” (cf: Jn 6:27-29).
The people asked Jesus what they were to do to accomplish the work of God, and he said to believe in the one he sent. The response of Jesus may not appear to fit the request. But to believe is not passive. Belief is to be followed by action. If we say that we believe in Jesus, do we pray with him, do we worship him independently and in communion with fellow believers, do we sing songs praising him, do we serve him through the giving of ourselves to one another by practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy?
When we experience setbacks, interruptions, conflicts, or are weighed down by tribulations, do we turn to cursing and yelling or turn instead to Jesus for guidance and direction? By the way, yelling or expressing our anger at Jesus is honest prayer and we are talking to instead of turning our back on him. Do we turn within ourselves or only surround ourselves with those of like mind, color, political and/or religious views, and make others into scapegoats, or do we embrace the richness, uniqueness, and diversity of God’s people, open ourselves to dialogue, and new possibilities?
If we are not consistently doing any of the above, then do we really believe in Jesus Christ, the one whom God sent? Where are we spending our time, talent, and treasure? Answering these questions is a good way to assess what and in who we truly believe. If our diagnosis today is that we are not as faithful as we would like, my recommendation is to take a spoonful of belief in Jesus and do one small thing today in his name with great love.
A photo that I took of the Easter flowers last year after the Saturday Vigil surrounding the altar at St Peter Catholic Church, Jupiter, FL.