For the complete Sunday readings click here.
I have a problem with being “Hangry.” Do you know the term “Hangry?” It’s when I miss a meal or it’s getting late for a meal and my blood sugar gets a little low. Suddenly I turn into the Hulk and explode in unnecessary, silly anger at little things. I’m like the people in those creative Snicker’s advertisements that say, “You’re not yourself when you’re hungry.” That is getting hangry.
Sounds like, in our first reading, the Israelites were a little hangry. God just freed them from slavery and they start complaining about not having food. In the gospel, Jesus rightly tells the crowds following him that they are eager to search for him, not because of his miracles or teaching, but because he fed them and they are hungry again.
Being fed is such a basic need. Those in the world with little or nearly no food suffer greatly because of it. Those of us who rarely miss a meal still feel the pangs of hunger from time to time. Obviously, we need to eat to live.
In the Gospel, Jesus teaches that there is an even more profound hunger than the hunger for food. He says we need God and that which will satisfy us for eternity even more than food. Peter Kreeft says in Prayer for Beginners, “Eating keeps your body alive, and prayer keeps your soul alive.”
When the crowds ask how they are to accomplish the works of God, Jesus answers, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” If we are going to do God’s work and get eternally fed, then we have to believe and trust in Jesus Christ.
Later in the Gospel, the crowds ask for the bread that comes from God, and Jesus tells them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Jesus is the only thing that will satisfy the hunger in our soul. Anything less than that leaves us hungry again. How do we satisfy this hunger? As Catholics it is the Eucharist. The Eucharist is bread from heaven. The Eucharist is Jesus himself. The Eucharist is the ultimate feast and the food that satisfies our soul.
Go to Mass. Whether it is this weekend or a weekday Mass, head to Mass and before receiving the Eucharist simply pray, “Jesus feed my soul.”
Extra Credit: I highly recommend Peter Kreeft’s book “Prayer for Beginners” which you can order from here or your favorite online retailer. First HNOJ parishioner to ask or email me about it gets a free copy.