Once upon a time… a couple came to me and It was obvious that they were not happy.
When they came in the door they would not even look at each other.
It took them a while even to talk.
After I welcomed them for a long time we sat there in very uncomfortable silence.
Finally she said I simply can’t take it anymore. I can’t take it.
He just can’t accept that I love him or even worse he is manipulating me to get what he wants.
Over and over, day in and day out he asks me to prove my love for him by doing something
And no matter what I do or no matter what I say it is never enough for him never enough.
There is always another request he always wants more.
I don’t know how the story ended. After a few more words he simply got up and left and after a while I drove her home.
I never heard from them again.
The crowd in today’s Gospel witnessed an incredible miracle.
Jesus fed 5000 families with a few loaves and a few fish and there was an abundance of leftovers.
They all saw the little he had and they all knew that they had eaten well
They all say that there was even an abundance of leftovers.
But they missed the point of the whole experience
They did not recognize this miracle as a sign of God’s Presence or God’s love
They did not understand that the miracle was that the Messiah, God’s chosen one was in their midst.
The miracle was the revelation that God himself was in their midst.
They simply wanted more bread and they thought they had found a way to get as much bread as they wanted and fill their empty stomachs
That was the reason they sought out Jesus and requested another sign.
They simply wanted more bread to eat.
How often is Jesus asked for a sign?
How often do the people of the Gospel say things like give us a sign and we will believe.
Frequently in the Gospel people ask him for a sign right after one has been given to them.
This Sunday the question each and everyone of us need to ask ourselves is;
How often do we relate to God in the very same way
If I had a nickel for every time that someone said to me I pray and pray and pray and God doesn’t give me what I want. This would be a very rich parish indeed.
Prayer which only requests prayer which wnats
Prayer which demands a sign (“give me prayers” as one of our senior citizens calls they) betray a faith which only seeks or only wants.
I’ll love I’ll trust you as long as you give me what I want or what I think I want.
Sometimes, infact most to the time we pray As if God doesn’t know what we need and when we need it.
Yes Jesus said ask and your shall receive and seek and you shall find.
But if all we do is ask
If our prayers always start with phrases like I want, show me, prove to me.
Then there is something drastically wrong with our relationship with God just like there was something terribly wrong with the relationship between that sad young couple who came to my door one day.
In the most difficult of situations maybe our prayer could be Jesus I trust you
Or Jesus show me the way you would have me act.
May we pray to understand God’s will and live it to the best of our ability.
May we pray for the gift of self surrender
Let’s not work for things that perish, that rust, wear out or go stale
Let’s not pray and work for things that we have to throw away when the smell in the refigerator
Let us work instead for a life giving relationship with the God.
Jesus said to them,
"I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst."
Only God understands our hunger and only a relationship with God can satisfy it.