Hunger for the Word of God

by | Feb 5, 2019 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus, in whose mouth God puts his words, tells us all that God commands. Those who trust in Jesus and obey him become new and satisfy their hunger.

The people hunger for God’s word. That is why they crowd around Jesus. And he does not send them away. Rather, he teaches them and satisfies their hunger.

But there is no mention of the specific content of Jesus’ teaching. This suggests perhaps that our focus should mainly be on Jesus. He is the Word made flesh. Rightly, then, does he stand out as he sits down and teaches from Simon’s boat, close to the shore.

Yes, the Teacher is the teaching. And he keeps teaching even when he finishes speaking. For his bringing about, against all odds, the amazing catch of a great number of fish is itself a teaching. Through it, he teaches Simon, James and John to put their trust in him. He alone, after all, is the answer to their hunger. It is also a lesson about their own unworthiness and their calling to a new life.

Jesus addresses the same teaching to us who seek to follow him and hunger for God’s word.

Jesus wants those who would follow him to put out into deep water. That is, his wish for us is that we understand and know him well and follow him closely. And he asks us to do so even at great risk and against our better knowledge, skill and experience.

And so, true followers of Jesus yield to his judgment. They do not let their own ideas, philosophy, theology, talks and hard work spoil everything (SV.EN XI:310-311). Instead, they say to him, “Teacher, at your word, we will do what conventional human wisdom tells us not to do.”

And, undoubtedly, Jesus will show us what he wants. If we ask him what he would do were he in our place (SV.EN XI:314), he will appear to us, too. He will also reveal to us his will. And doing it, we shall taste the amazing fullness that we hunger for. He, then, will not just be our Teacher but also our Lord. He will, moreover, open our eyes so that, like Isaiah and Simon, we may see our unworthiness.

Acknowledgement of our sinfulness and change for the better are indeed a sign that we obey Jesus. Will, then, our hiding sins and scandals and our insistence on doing what we have always done not mean disobedience?  Do our refusal to admit mistakes and our being set in our ways not stop us from leaving everything to follow Jesus without fear?

Lord Jesus, make us true to the celebration of the Eucharist. Grant that we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. Renew us so that, discerning your will, we may hunger no longer.

10 February 2019
5th Sunday in O.T. (C)
Is 6, 1-2a. 3-8; 1 Cor 15, 1-11; Lk 5, 1-11