The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”
Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.”
Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’s latest miracles seem to have inspired quite a lot of searching and confusion among his followeRabbi, we have been looking for you! When did you get to Capernaum? Come to think of it, how did you get across the sea without a boat? What is this food of eternal life?
Like that crowd, I am searching and searching for Jesus and often miss the place and the point. In my searching, I ask the same question these followers ultimately ask of Jesus: how do I do God’s work? Though I may feel lost and confused, and though I may get distracted by the fear, doubt, or the expectations of others, Jesus tells me, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
I am never in this alone, and everything I am called to do is with and through Jesus.
—Amanda Collins is a Religious Studies teacher at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.
Loving God, let your words be my beacon when I am lost at sea. Help me to believe in you always, that I may feast on the food of eternal life. Amen.