Today Jesus challenges us to look beyond the obvious. “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.” The five thousand witnessed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish, ate, and were filled. Then, they wanted more. But they missed the true meaning of their encounter with our Lord.  So Jesus invited them to take a step further to see and understand the miracle. “Do not work for food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life.” Jesus not only wanted to satisfy their physical needs but also their spiritual needs. He is the Bread of Life for the five thousand, for us now, and for all eternity.

What am I hungering for in my life?  Am I seeking more the miracle or the meaning?

—Mary Lou Manion is an intern in the spiritual direction program at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington, IL.