Homily for April 12th, 2016: John 6:30-35.
“Whoever comes to me will never hunger,” Jesus says, “whoever believes in me will never thirst.” Those are tremendous claims indeed. Only our familiarity with the words keeps us from recognizing how daring they are.
What do we hunger for? Many things. One hunger, however, is universal. Every one of us hungers for acceptance and love. At life’s beginning, our parents, mothers especially, satisfy this hunger, if they are at least reasonably good parents. Even the best mother’s love pales, however, beside the intensity and fervor of God’s love for us.
A three-year old Chinese girl in the pre-school of the parish where I was previously showed me this not many years ago. Her name was
At the time an only child, her parents told her that she would soon start pre-school.
She talked of it with excitement for weeks. When school started, however, there
were floods of tears. It was her first time away from her parents. She had
never had a baby sitter.
Because I was a close friend of her family -- I had seen
Doris for the first time
an hour after her birth -- I felt a special responsibility for her. When her three-hour
school day ended at noon, I would meet Doris outside her classroom, and stand
with her at, or in cold weather inside, the glass door of the school, waiting
for her mother to appear to take her home. The instant Doris
glimpsed her mother, she would break away from me and run as fast as her little
legs would take her to her mother’s arms. What an example of hunger for love!
It was heart-stopping.
That hunger for love does not diminish as the years go by. When parental love no longer satisfies us, most of us start looking for satisfaction of our hunger from things which, though good in themselves, leave us still hungry and frustrated, because we can never get enough of them: things like pleasure, possessions, power, and honor.
For many people it takes years, for some decades, before we discover that there is only One in who can satisfy the deepest hunger and desires of our hearts. His name is Jesus Christ.