"By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat." —Genesis 3:19
God had told man that he would get bread to eat by the sweat of his face (Gn 3:19), by working hard to plant, till, harvest, grind, and prepare grain for bread. Nevertheless, God then mercifully sent His only Son to feed us bread, and heavenly bread at that (Jn 6:32-33ff). In Jesus, the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35), God has reversed the heavy consequences of the fall of man. Whoever eats the bread Jesus gives will never be hungry (Jn 6:35) and will have eternal life (Jn 6:51).
Even with this awesome promise, people routinely skip Mass or leave Mass early. Yet the crowd of people in today's Gospel reading was so caught up in hearing Jesus speak the words of God that they would not leave His side even though they were starting to grow hungry (Mk 8:2). Here was a group of people so hungry for the Word of God proclaimed through Jesus that they wouldn't go home. Though the crowd had been with Jesus for three days, they still stayed with Him (Mk 8:2). They used the sweat of their brow to remain with Jesus rather than work for their own food. How this attitude of spiritual hunger and trust must have delighted Jesus! He multiplied bread so that this crowd could be fed (Mk 8:6ff).
In Jesus, we are no longer bound to work for food. Now our work is to have faith in Him (Jn 6:27-29) and spend our sweat loving, serving, and worshipping Him. Desire the Bread of Life more than the food of the world. He will provide for your needs (Phil 4:19).
Prayer: Father, re-orient all my desires to line up with Yours.
Promise: "The people in the crowd ate until they had their fill." Mk 8:8
Praise: Jesus gave Benny a special birthday present. Jesus delivered him from smoking three packs of cigarettes daily for thirty-five years.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 24, 2018
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.