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. Aug 2018 .
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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

HUNGER FOR JESUS, THE BREAD OF LIFE
By REV. FR. PAUL ANIGBORO

(Ex 16:2-4, 12-15; Eph 4:17, 20-24; Jn 6:24-35).
 
Hunger is a terrible thing. It can lead to sickness and some other psychological issues. There is a saying, "an hungry man is an angry man." While we talk about Hunger, there are different types of hunger. There can be physical Hunger, spiritual hunger, emotional hunger and intellectual Hunger. Every hunger must be satisfied but the problem lies in discovering what we are hungry for. 
 
Today’s readings challenge us to trust in the providence of a loving and caring God and to hunger and thirst for the Bread of eternal life – the Holy Eucharist. As human beings, we hunger for many things besides food and material possessions. We hunger to be recognized and honored, to love and be loved, to be listened to and to be appreciated, to help, console and encourage people and receive gratitude. But only God can satisfy our various forms of spiritual hunger. 
 
The first reading shows us how God satisfied the hunger of His chosen people in the desert by giving them manna and quail. The restrictions imposed by God for the collecting of manna remind us to trust that God will always provide for our needs. In the second reading, St. Paul advises the Ephesians to satisfy their spiritual hunger by turning away from their former evil ways and leading lives of love, kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Paul reminds us that our acceptance of Jesus as the real source of our life and the nourishment of our souls effects a total transformation in us. 
 
In today’s Gospel, Jesus makes the unique and bold claim: _“I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst."_ Jesus was offering the crowd Bread from Heaven, Bread that nourishes for eternal life, Bread available to people who have faith in Jesus Christ. Not everyone approved his words, some turned and went away because it was difficult to accept. 
 
My dear friends, what do we hunger and thirst for most times? Material possessions takes us nowhere. We all have a hunger within. A hunger that longs to be satisfied. Our soul thirst for God as the psalmist will tell us in Psalm 63:1 and St. Augustine will remind us that our souls are restless until they rest in God. We must long for both the word of God and the Holy Eucharist. 
 
In the Eucharist, Jesus is both the gift and the giver. Jesus not only gives the Bread of Life (John 6:11, 27), but also is the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 48). The giver and the gift are one and the same. As the Bread of Life from Heaven, Jesus claims that only he can satisfy man’s spiritual hunger. While bodily food helps us to stay alive in this world, spiritual food sustains and develops our supernatural life which will last forever in heaven.
 
Through God's infinite love we are given, in the Blessed Eucharist, the very Author of the gifts of faith and sanctifying grace. Thus, the Eucharist is not a mere "symbol" of Jesus; rather, it is a Sacramental sign of Jesus’ Real Bodily Presence in his glorified risen Body. This Bread of Life, which is Jesus himself, gives mankind a new relationship with God, a relationship of trust, obedience and love.
 
Let us then long to approach the altar of God to receive this spiritual food which gives us 1) Courage to carry out God's work in the world, 2) Help to live the life God wants for us, 3) Inspiration to know the will of God in our lives, 4) A deeper Understanding of the holy mystery of Christ's presence, 5) Encouragement to love others and strengthen the Faith community, 6) Grace to overcome temptation and avoid sin, and 7) Joy and Peace of heart , knowing that Christ lives in us and will bring us to God's Heavenly Kingdom. (Anthony Kadavil).
 
Lord, help us to Hunger for the bread of life which satisfy our spiritual hunger. Amen. 
 
Good morning and do have a wonderful Sunday. God loves you.
 
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