Today is Monday the 19 April, in the Third Week of Easter.
The choir of Portsmouth Cathedral sing Psalm 42 – Like as the Hart desireth the waterbrooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
After Jesus had fed the five thousand, the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the lake saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’ Then they said to him, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’
In this scene, which follows on from the feeding of the five thousand, there is a strong sense of these people looking for Jesus, even getting into boats to go after him. Then the question comes up of why they are looking for him. If you were one of the people in those boats, what would your reason be? Why would you be looking for Jesus?
Jesus tells the people to distinguish between the food that perishes and the food that endures for eternal life. What, in your life, are the kinds of food that perish? And what endures? – what endures for eternal life?
As you listen again to the story, imagine yourself as one of the crowd, and see what it feels like – looking for Jesus, getting into one of the boats, and eventually finding him, and then hearing him speak these words to you.
“This is the work of God – that you believe in him whom he has sent.” What do you want to say, now, to Jesus – to the one whom God has sent?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.