In the gospel of John, the miracles of Jesus are referred to as signs. The people asked Jesus for signs to prove to them who He is. He said to them the only sign they would receive is the sign of Jonah. This reminded me of a story. A young girl was told in her catechism class that Jonah was three days in the belly of a whale. She told her science teacher the story. Her teacher was an atheist and told her there was no way a man could fit in a whale for three days. She said when she gets to heaven, she would ask Jonah herself if this was true. Her teacher said mocking her, what if Jonah is not in heaven. The girl said then teacher, you ask him.
To believe in signs, you must have faith. There are many signs in our lives. When you are traveling you watch for signs. They tell you the speed limit, where to turn, what street you are on, where the hotels are, when to stop, and most important how far to the next rest area. We believe those signs.
Jesus performed a sign for the people. He fed five thousand with two fish and five loaves of bread. Truly a miracle. But what did the people remember? They got free food. And there was plenty of food. They were able to eat so much they ended up sick from eating. Did they not think to ask how could so much food come from so little offered? That is the miracle. So today they follow Jesus. They ask for another sign. Do you think they are only thinking of their stomachs? They must be hungry again. In a very selfish way, they are only thinking of themselves. They are only thinking of their stomachs. When will they open their eyes to see the real Jesus?
The sign they are missing is that Jesus is the bread of life. Not only do we need to be fed physically, but we need spiritual nourishment. With out this spiritual nourishment our souls will not survive. Through this spiritual nourishment we can see the signs of joy and mercy in our lives. We ourselves become those signs for others, attracting people to church, to Jesus, and to God.
If we are not nourished with the bread of life, we become bitter and angry people. We then complain and gripe about everything around us. Who wants to be with people like that? We complain about our families, our work, and our church. Yes, we may all have faults, and we do not just cover over our faults, but seek reconciliation and make restitution. Then we can move on. We share the love of family. We bring joy to where we work. We share the beauty of our church and our faith with others. We have the ultimate sign. It is Jesus in the Bread of Life.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen