18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – B
August 2, 2015


Complaints are a daily reality everywhere. I complain when it rains. I complain when it’s hot. I complain when traffic is snarled (now, that means I complain almost everyday!)

The Israelites, blessed enough to be free from slavery, soon found reasons enough to complain. Food wasn’t good enough. The meat wasn’t tasty enough, for want of spices they got so used to back in the day when they were slaves in Egypt.

But God, who always hears the cries of the poor and the needy, according to Biblical tradition, supplied them with manna and meat. Moses, ever the wise leader, reminded them that what they ate was “the bread that the Lord had given them to eat.”

We humans are a curious lot. We never are satisfied. There is always something missing. There is always something better, something more, something worth pinning our covetous eyes on. The other man’s grass is always greener, and the neighbor’s cows are always fatter and plumper.  How true the words of St. Paul are! We all are “corrupted through deceitful desires,” “lived once as Gentiles do.”

We don’t just complain. We crave for more.

The crowds, who were given free fish sandwiches last week, are back in the race. This time, they did not walk. No … they traveled in style and boarded boats, looking for the Lord. The sandwiches must have been too good. The free lunches must have been too tempting that they preferred not to work for their keeps, but to just be free-loaders.

If you don’t call that craving and longing for more, I don’t know what it is.

But the Lord told them point-blank: “You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.”

How shallow we all can be! St. Paul was right. We need to shed off that “old self” and our “former way of life.”

How about changing the rules of the game? How about starting the race with that ever important reality that we all should face? … that we were once slaves, for one. But here’s another … that we all too soon forget. When we get used to comfort and abundant graces that are sufficient, we want more. We crave for more.

How about looking at the reality about who we are? … That ultimately, we are really craving for the ultimate, for the highest, the noblest, the best, and that which no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor heart ever dreamt of!

Yes, we all crave for God and His ultimate gift.

We all crave for bread that never grows stale and food that does not spoil. We all crave for eternal life.

Today, cut out all the complaints. Get into the groove of change. And crave all you want for the ultimate. For today, the promise is given loud and clear …

“My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

What else are you looking for?