My Dear Sisters and Brothers! We who follow Jesus are now in our privileged place where the Word of God is proclaimed and broken for us. Our Blessed Lord, our Good Shepherd has led us here like he led the crowds in the Gospel. It is not only about the journey measured by miles or kilometers but about the journey measured by our faith in Jesus. Christ himself reveals to us, like he had revealed to the people who found him in the synagogue in Capernaum: ‘This is working for God, you must believe in the one God has sent.’ He is the One sent by God so that by believing in him we could have life to the full.
The people who looked for Jesus wanted to have life to the full too. However for them it meant having someone who would make their lives easy by providing them with daily free meals. It is not what Jesus would support. On the contrary he said that: ‘The way that is easy leads to destruction, and those who enter it are many.’
At a University a research was conducted when students were given a test to do. Some days later they were given a new test of similar difficulty, but this time the quality of paper and ink was poor which made really difficult to read the questions. When the results were compared it was discovered that the students did much better at the second test. The extra difficulty they had to face made them pay a better attention to the questions and subsequently to think more carefully about the answers.
We can find a similar insight in what Jesus said at another time: ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.’ Our Blessed Lord didn’t speak about a University test but about our life which is more important. In the life marked by challenges and difficulties we encounter our God who gives us grace not simply to overcome or to survive those challenges and difficulties but to stimulate us to enhance our life.
I pray so that we may trust our Blessed Lord when he leads to the green pastures which are not idyllic places and situations but the places and situations which can stimulate our human and spiritual growth like he led the crowd in the Gospel.