“God, Who is infinitely rich, became man in order to experience the poverty and misery of fallen man, not because He needed this experience but because we needed His example. Now that we have seen His love, let us love one another as He has loved us. Thus His love will work in our hearts and transform us into Himself.”
~Excerpted from No Man is an Island by Fr. Thomas Merton, OCSO
Monday, April 11 ~ Third Week in the Season of Easter
Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr
Holy Gospel: John 6:22-29 After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.] The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, “What can we 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.”
Meditation: Take a few moments and ask yourself: What do you hunger most for in life? Is it health, wealth, power, titles, fame, love, truth, life? Jesus addressed this issue with those who sought him after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves. Where they simply hungry for things which satisfy the body or for that which satisfies the heart and soul? Jesus echoes the question posed in the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah: “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy” (Isaiah 55:2)? There are two kinds of hunger — physical and spiritual. Only God can satisfy the spiritual hunger in our heart and soul — the hunger for truth, for life, and for love. Jesus also spoke about the works of God and what we must do to be doing the works of God, namely to believe in God’s Son whom he has sent into the world.
Prayer: O God, for whose honor the Bishop Saint Stanislaus fell beneath the swords of his persecutors, grant we pray, that we may persevere strong in faith even until death. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: We must understand that Jesus offers a new relationship with God which provides for a new kind of life – in fact the only real life. It is a life of love and service, and the forgiveness of others which corresponds to God’s mercy and kindness; a life of holiness and purity which corresponds to God’s holiness; and a life of submission and trust which corresponds to the wisdom of God. This is the work which Jesus directs us to and enables us to perform in the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you hunger for the bread which comes down from heaven and thirst for the words of everlasting life? Find this hunger, and fulfill it with Christ!