May 5, 2014
Today’s gospel: John 6:22-29
We as God’s people are about doing God’s work. It is but natural for us to ask Jesus, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” (v.28). For many, they would hear Jesus tell them:
*Be faithful to your spouse.
*Raise your family well.
*Serve in your parish or community.
*Do work with the poor.
*Fight for justice and peace in the world.
And indeed, those are part of what God wants to happen in our lives. But there is something more fundamental and of more crucial importance. When we ask Jesus, this is actually what he says to us, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” (v.29). God sent Jesus, and we are to put our faith in him. God sent Jesus to win for us our salvation, and it is faith in him that allows us to experience that salvation.
So that is the most crucial thing in the world. Having an enduring marriage, a good family, service in the church, helping the poor, fighting for justice — all would fall short if we did not live a vibrant faith in Jesus. Even atheists can help the poor and fight for justice. Even those who care for their family or serve in the church can sin grievously and not be saved.
The basic work of God is for us to put our faith in Jesus so that we would experience salvation. But how can people put their faith in him if they have not met him or heard of him, and how can they hear if no one speaks or preaches about him? (see Rom 10:14). So the basic work that God wants us to do is to evangelize, to proclaim the gospel. We are to share Christ so that others might meet Christ, and go on to live Christ.
Jesus says, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” (v.27a). Yes, let us do good in the world, for that is part of living Christ. However, let us not just do works of God but neglect to do the work of God — to proclaim the gospel of salvation in Jesus. The gospel is food for the soul, bringing us to faith in Jesus and on to eternal life.
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God bless you.
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Phil 1:21)