When Jesus saw the need to feed about five thousand people he sought a way with his apostles. Andrew did see a boy with 5 barley loaves and two fish. From here Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed and also of the fishes shared to the multitudes. A miracle witnessed by many.
This story shows how Christ knew his creation. Man’s hunger and thirst are inherent in his nature. But Jesus knew the hunger and thirst of souls wanting to hear his teaching.
Jesus truly said that he is the bread of life and those who believe in him will never go thirsty. This mystery became clear to saints who triumphed in heaven. We can learn so much from the saints on how they took this message of Christ by heart.
Like the martyrs who received the gospel from His’ disciples, Christians then were attacked for their faith, imprisoned, tortured and intimidated. They embraced the hunger, suffering, fatigue and pain for their love for Christ. They understood the wisdom of the gospel. The Holy Spirit filled their souls. These made them endure the agonies with spiritual joy they have in life and even in death.
There are so many great saints to mention to tell how in the midst of their struggles they found life and joy in Christ. Doctors of the church, confessors, priests and laymen who persevered for the love of God.
“Whatever you do, think of the Glory of God as your main goal,” said St. John Bosco who despite the hardship sought a way to save the plight of the destitute youth. He made many reforms to give dignity to the plight of the poor youth. With the help of her dear mother Margherita, who later became known as “Mamma Margherita” to the children, they helped them find good jobs and a place to stay. There are times when they are short of food but with faith and prayer to God help comes. He founded the Society of St. Frances de Sales to continue their charitable works and keep the youth out of trouble and bring them back to God with guidance.
All of this he did out of love for God. He endured hunger, and focused on his goals for the youth. He experienced thirst, too thirsty to help young people in need.
Santo Padre Pio of Pietrelcina had stigmata, wounds resembling those of Christ Jesus. Undoubtedly his holiness was known to many, heaven endowed him with so many gifts to heal the sick, physical and spiritual ailments. However, there came a time when his superiors did not allow him to celebrate Holy Mass in public and forbade him to speak outside the monastery.
But the saint has found Christ, especially since he bears the same wounds. The humility and obedience he showed was only a demonstration of his trust in God. Even though he was suffering, he was down of the decision, he abided and trusted the process. Padre Pio said, “Endure tribulations, illness, and pain, for the love of God and for the conversion of poor sinners.”
All of this he did out of love for God. He endured the hunger, the difficulty of not seeing his parishioners and say Holy Mass in public. He accepted his thirst and ordeal, out of his thirst to sacrifice for sinners and his flock.
The gospel of John is also a prophecy.
As he promised: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world”, John 6: 51-52. Jesus himself instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Many saints believed in this devotion that they passionately spread the significance of attending the Holy Mass and receiving the Body of Christ. This devotion is meant to draw everyone closer to Jesus that we may receive the mystery of his promise to never go hungry and ever be thirsty with His grace.
St. Peter Julian Eymard, a French Catholic priest founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. He was determined to make people appreciate the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Preparing children for their first communion and reaching out to non-practicing catholics to receive the grace from Communion.
He stressed that, “Is not our Lord as meek and humble in the Blessed Sacrament as He was during His life on earth? Is He not always the Good Shepherd, the Divine Consoler, the Changeless Friend? Happy the soul that knows how to find Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, and in the Eucharist all things!”
All of this he did out of love for God. He faced hunger, the difficulty of starting his charitable works. He was focused with his advocacy, because he was too thirsty to bring back those who had been missing the Blessed Sacrament.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori also mentioned: “Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us.” The sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is Christ’s way of being with us by receiving him to make us holy. “If the angels were capable of envy, they would envy us for two things: one is the receiving of Holy Communion, and the other is suffering.” said Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.
Even if Jesus Christ, our Saviour directly said that we’ll never go hungry and thirsty if we receive Him, still men today has taken it for granted. Even before the pandemic, people rarely visit Christ in Adoration chapels. A number of Catholics has become lax with their faith that they miss preparing thru confession and good works before receiving Holy Communion.
Many has remained hungry and thirsty for matters that are material. Mainly because society today has created worldly standard for success and relevance. What is your state of life, job position, how much savings in the bank, properties, clothes on trend, fancy shoes, how many followers on Facebook, likes on posts and other things that you want to achieve to get validation in the world of social media.
Mankind has already allowed a stressful and toxic culture in his life. Trying to prove his value in today’s digital age. Aspiring to be seen, wanting to be relevant. But what is relevant depends on what is that we treasure. Why do men continuously crave and reach its goals but remain hungry for more? Why get thirsty still when you have pleased everybody?
The lives of saints are truly remarkable that they have different stories and struggles but they have something in common: Finding and loving Christ. They are not mediocre for Christ. They strike their best with all their might. They have their share of battles but they stick with Christ. They remained relevant and their legacy survived. It was God that kept them want to live for others and never went hungry or thirsty for matters truly eternal.