“Jesus said to the crowds: ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.’” (JN 6: 44)
When we think about going to Heaven as hard work, we are missing something important. Heaven is our natural destination. We were created by God, Who wants us there, and He died for our sins; He is all the time with us, to support us, to lead us, to guide us and to protect us. And finally—He “will come to raise us on the last day.”
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.” (JN 6: 40)
Again and again, Our Lord repeats what is the most important: our lives have a purpose, we are created by love, we are invited to Heaven, we are God’s children, loved and wanted. And He gave His beloved Son to die for our sins to bring us closer to Him.
“Everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“So they said to Jesus, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.’” (JN 6: 35)
God’s love and God’s protection is very detailed. He takes care of every element of our lives. He knows that we need bread, and in the prayer “Our Father” that He gave us, we ask also for “daily bread”—“give us this day our daily bread.” He also knows that we are created for something bigger—to live in heaven forever. He became “the bread of life” so “we will never hunger and will never thirst.”
“I am the bread of life, says the Lord; whoever comes to me will never hunger.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” (JN 6: 27)
We need to work. The obligation to work, which came with the moment of creating Adam and Eve in Paradise, was much bigger than just collecting enough food and never was a curse. It was always something bigger than food, money for school and living, nice vacations, and nice cars. Work was always “for eternal life,” to grow, to distribute wealth to others, to take care of others, to bring joy and happiness, to improve our relationship and finally—to love each other. Work is the opportunity to share our talents, our dedication, and our love with others, to make not only us but also others better persons.
“One does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But they urged him, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them.” (LK 24: 29)
“They urged him, ‘stay with us.” And Our Lord did as they asked: “so He went in to stay with them.” Our Lord encourages us to ask and we will receive. He answers our prayers, our requests, and our needs. He came to them without any plans to do anything. He just “went in to stay with them.” When our spouses sometimes ask us to “stay with me,” it doesn’t mean, that they want us to do something. Sometimes “stay” means only “stay,” spent 20 minutes with me, just being with me. Our 20 minutes ritual is very often very simple—no action, just being.
“Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us; make our hearts burn while you speak to us.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.’” (MK 16: 15)
This is our mission: “Go into the whole world.” “The whole world” could be my family, my neighborhood or my company. It could be my friends or collages; sometimes it could be something small, sometimes something big. Our Lord expects us to see the whole perspective, based on His word not on my vision: “He is the power of God,” not me and my limited vision.
“We proclaim Christ crucified; he is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Philip answered him, ‘Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?’” (JN 6: 7-9)
The same problem, and two different solutions: “two hundred day’s wages worth of food” and “there is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish.” Philip and Andrew are concern that this is not enough, but one sees only a problem, the other one sees a small solution. For Our Lord, it was enough. When we see what we can do from our side and put our trust in Him, He can make miracles. Sometimes we do not need a whole day to communicate to our spouses how much we love them, but we have only twenty minutes. When given totally and joyfully, Our Lord will multiply the benefits in an enormous way.
“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.” (JN 3: 31-32)
How much we would like to assure Our Lord that He has many “who accept His testimony,” many who listen daily to His words, many who follow His example to love unconditionally, and many who want to base their lives on the Gospel.
“You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe!” (Gospel Acclamation)
“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (JN 3: 16)
Every day, not only during Easter or Christmas, is the same: “God so loved the world.” Every day, every word of God, every Gospel and whole Bible is about the same—we are unconditionally loved. We do not deserve this, we do not work for this hard, we do not need to claim or earn this—we receive this daily because God is love.
“God so love the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (JN 3: 14-15)
“So must the Son of Man be lifted” and this “must” is about God’s plan for our salvation, is about us, our “eternal life,” and about our future. We know that for God, there is no “must”—He is God and He is free. So when He decided about this “must,” it was only a measure of His love. We are so loved.
“The Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (Gospel Acclamation)