The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea 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 sea, 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.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The days that I begin with prayer are my best days. Why is that? As I begin my day today, I am struck by Jesus’s words, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life.” What am I working for today? Am I rushed and distracted as I work? Or is my work a small way I can glorify God? Beginning my day with a prayer doesn’t change the tasks I need to accomplish today, but it changes how I approach them. Same meeting, same project, same dinner preparation, same child that needs help brushing his teeth… but why I do my work is different. I am working for the food that endures for eternal life, the bread from heaven. My work is a prayer.
But how can I connect to this vocation on a Monday morning when I’m sleepy, running late, or uninspired? At the very end of the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius gives us the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. This meditation reminds us of the many ways God has showered us with the gift of love throughout our lives, “as the rays come down from the sun, or the rains from their source.” My work is a response to this love that has been poured out for me. Today, I ground myself in this abundant love, and pray for the grace to respond generously.
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
—Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius of LoyolaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!