Follow me!

The people who listened to Jesus throughout the day and then had this grace of multiplying the loaves and saw the power of Jesus wanted to make him king. At first, they went to Jesus to listen to his words and ask for the healing of the sick. They stayed to listen to Jesus all day without getting bored or tired, but they were there, happy. But then, when they saw that Jesus gave them food, which they did not expect, they thought: “This would be a good ruler for us, and he will certainly be able to deliver us from the power of the Romans and lead the country forward.” And they were excited to make him king. Their intention changed because they saw and reasoned like this: “Well, a man who does such a miracle, that he feeds the people, can be a good ruler” (cf. Jn 6:1-15). At that moment, however, they forgot the enthusiasm that the word of Jesus caused in their hearts.

Jesus withdrew and went to pray (v. 15). Those people stayed there, and the next day, they looked for Jesus because they said to themselves: “he must be here somewhere,” because they saw that he did not get into the boat with the others, and there was only one boat left… (cf. Jn 6,22-24). However, they did not know Jesus overtook the others walking on the water. And so they decided to go to the other side of the Sea of ​​Tiberias to look for Jesus. When they see him, the first thing they say to him is the words: “Teacher, when did you come here?” (v. 25), as if saying: “We do not understand; it seems strange.”

And Jesus returns them to that first feeling, to the one they had before the multiplication of the loaves, when they listened to God’s word: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me not because ye saw the signs” – as at the beginning, the signs of the word which they rejoiced, the signs of healing – not because you saw the signs, “but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (v. 26). Jesus reveals their intention and says: “It is like this, you have changed your attitude.” And they, instead of apologizing, “No Lord, it’s not…”, were humble. Jesus continues: «Do not seek the food that perishes, but the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. Because the Father, God, marked him with his seal” (John 6:27). And they, the good ones, say to him: “What must we do to do the works of God?” – “Believe in the Son of God” (cf. v. 29).

This is the case in which Jesus corrects the attitude of the people, the crowd, because they moved away from that first moment, from the first spiritual consolation, and took a path that was not right, more worldly than evangelical. This forces us to think about how many times in our lives we start the journey of following Jesus, following Jesus, with gospel values, and halfway through, another thought occurs to us: we notice some sign and move away, adapting to something temporary, something more material, perhaps more worldly, and we lose the memory of that first enthusiasm we had when we heard Jesus speak.

Jesus always brings us back to that first moment in which he looked at us, spoke to us, and instilled in us the desire to follow him. This is the grace to ask the Lord for. We ​​will always have this temptation to distance ourselves because we see something else: “This will work, this is a good idea…” – we distance ourselves. The grace is always to return to the first calling, to the first moment, and not to forget. Not to forget my story, when Jesus looked at me with love and said: “This is your way.” When Jesus, through many people, made me understand what the path of the Gospel is, and not other paths that are somewhat worldly, with different values.

We are counting down to the first meeting. The words of Jesus had always struck me on that resurrection morning when he said: “Go to my disciples and tell them to go to Galilee; there they will find me.” Galilee was the place of the first meeting. There, they met Jesus. Each of us has our own “Galileo” within us, that moment in which Jesus approached us and said, “Follow me.” In life, what happened to these people is good because they immediately say to him: “So what should we do?” They quickly obeyed. We move away and look for other values, explanations (hermeneutics), and other things, and we lose the freshness of the first vocation. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews also reminds us of this: “Remember the first days” (cf. Heb. 10:32). The memory, the memory of the first meeting, the memory of “my Galilee,” when the Lord looked at me with love and said to me: “Follow me.”

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