Liturgical Colour : Red
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard about how God chastised the people who had followed Him, as they followed Him truly because they received good and great things from Him, from the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand men and many other women and children. They received those blessings, had their stomachs filled and were satisfied, and thus, they sought to have more of them.
But did their hearts and minds have God in them? It is likely that they did not have God in them. They were only following the whim of their desires. They liked to be thrilled and pleased by what they see and by what they had witnessed in what Jesus had done, but this kind of commitment is rather one-sided. When troubles come, many of them would be among the first ones to try to get out of trouble.
One example for this was clear, the Apostle Peter, whom at the time when Jesus was betrayed by Judas, and then arrested by the chief priests, wanted to have nothing to do with Him, and in his fear, doubt and uncertainty, although earlier on he had said that he would defend his Lord to the death and even to give his life for Him, but at the very moment when that faith was tested, he faltered and abandoned his Lord.
But this shows us all that God did not choose the perfect and the mighty to be His chief followers and disciples. Instead, He chose humble men like us, and fellow sinners like us. He called tax collectors and sinful people, and He dined with prostitutes and those whom the society had considered as hopeless and damned. But all of this is for the sake of the same outcome, that all of us may find our path out of our miserable past, and look forward to the salvation which God promised all those who are willing to commit themselves to Him.
Jesus told the people not to just look for the perishable bread of this world, but even more importantly, to look for the bread that will last forever. This is the Bread of Life, the Word of God Incarnate, which in Jesus, and through Jesus, the Bread of Life, lies our salvation and redemption from the eternal darkness and damnation that is awaiting all of us.
What does this all mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? It means that all of us should strive to be the best we can be in following our Lord, and commit ourselves wholly to His cause, regardless of what this may bring to all of us. Indeed, following God may not seem to be the best course of action, and many will question us and wonder why we even bother to ‘waste’ our lives and opportunities by devoting ourselves to God.
But I can assure you brothers and sisters in Christ, that the Apostles themselves had endured the same kind of ridicule and rejection from the world. They had to endure many sufferings and persecutions, rejection from the people and from the society, and yet, in all these, while they lost the bread of the world, the approval of the people and the world, but they gained for themselves the eternal Bread of Life through their faith and devotion in God.
Let us all realise that as we rejoice and celebrate together as one Church in this Easter season, that there are still so many things that we can do in order to be active and devoted disciples and followers of our God. Let us all devote our time and strength to be light and the reflection of God’s own light to brighten the way to our own brethren who are still struggling and living in the darkness of sin, and help ourselves to steady ourselves on the path to salvation.
May God help us and strengthen our resolve, so that in all the things that we do, we may always seek to become closer to Him and be inspired to live as He has lived, faithful and committed to God, obedient to all of His ways and laws. Let us all seek eternal life and redemption which can be found in Him alone. God bless us all. Amen.