Gospel Reflection — John 6:30-35
One of the worst things you can do when you’re thirsty is to try to drink seawater. That’s because seawater has such a high salt content, that it will actually dehydrate you if you drink it. So the effect is that seawater will not only fail to quench your thirst, but actually make you only thirst for more water (and if you drink enough, it could kill you). All of us have a thirst, or hunger, which can be only filled with God, for God is our greatest need. The problem is, sometimes in order to satiate that thirst, we go after things which are no better than seawater. It looks like it will quench our thirst, but the effect is only damaging to our souls, and actually takes away what we already have, making us thirst even more.
In this Gospel reading, Jesus says that He is the true bread of life. He is the true bread which can satisfy our hunger, He is the true drink that can quench our thirst. So when I say that we go after things that are like seawater, what am I talking about? Well, I think a good indication is for us to think about whether there are things in our lives to which we say, “I would be able to be happy if only _______” or “things would be so much better if ______”. When we ask ourselves these kinds of questions, the true answer we should be looking for should be centered on God. But if we are thinking, “I would be far happier if only such and such a person would stop driving me crazy”, or, “If only I could manage to lose weight, I could finally be happy with myself”, or, “Things would be better off if only I could make enough money”. While achieving such things may be helpful or even good for us, very often when we’re saying “if only”, then what we’re looking for is God, but what we’re consuming is actually just “seawater”. Jesus is the true bread from heaven. Nothing else will satisfy.