April 20, 2015 Monday: 3rd Week of Easter
You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” Jesus invites His listeners to strive for higher realities. “Work for food….that endures for eternal life.”
The invitation to strive for higher realities is constant in practically all religions. In Christianity this is captured in the Sermon on the Mount: “Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given you besides,” (Matt 6:33).
We are constantly advised to seek “the truth about things in matter,” to desire and work for things that truly count.
This is part of the genuine wisdom throughout human history. Plato urged his disciples to love the “eternal ideas” and to reject mere shadows. The Old Testament sapiential literature repeats the invitation of Wisdom to take solid nourishment.
In time, Wisdom comes among us as Jesus. The Gospels repeat the refrain that “He taught with authority, unlike the scribes and Pharisees.” St. Paul would warn his communities against teachers who merely tickle their bearing. The Pastoral Letters exhort the teachers and leaders to give their congregations solid food. The well-known passage from 2Timothy (4:1-5) is worth remembering.
In decadent times people prefer only entertainment and light literature. In the Church we should weep when preachers use the pulpit only to entertain, gauging the “success” of the homily by the number of times the people laugh.
“Work for food…that endures for eternal life.” (Fr. Willy Villegas, SVD Bible Diary 2002)