"What do I most hunger for? Health, wealth, love, truth, life?"... Only God can satisfy the spiritual hunger in our hearts and souls, the hunger for truth, for life, and for love.
Being misunderstood is probably one of the most disheartening of human experiences. Jesus worked great signs among His people, such as the multiplication of the loaves to feed five thousand of them, and yet the people failed to understand Him. Jesus wanted to draw people to Himself as their Savior, but they were interested only in satisfying their human needs.
I was asking myself this question, "What do I most hunger for? Health, wealth, love, truth, life?" Hopefully we are seeking that which satisfies the heart and soul? Jesus echoes the question posed by the prophet Isaiah, "Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?" (Isaiah 55:2) There are two kinds of hunger - physical and spiritual. Only God can satisfy the spiritual hunger in our hearts and souls, the hunger for truth, for life, and for love.
Today's responsorial psalm brings our first reading and Gospel together, "Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord." In the first reading, St. Stephen, a deacon, followed in the footsteps of Jesus. He too worked great wonders and signs among his own people. His only intention was to draw them in faith to the person of Jesus Christ as their Savior. Not only did some of his own people fail to understand Stephen, they actually turned against him, and went so far as to bring false witness against him before the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews. Tomorrow we will see how he suffered a martyr's death.
Both Jesus and His follower, Stephen, were strengthened by the realization that they were doing God's will. Their pain was not lessened, but their determination was left undaunted.
No matter how careful we are with others, no matter how loving our intention, we will face misunderstanding, sometimes even actual rejection. The natural reaction is simply to give up on another person. But God calls us to an attitude and way of acting which at times may even be heroic. It is not the Christian approach to meet misunderstanding with disdain, or rejection with contempt. God calls us to use every avenue possible to communicate properly with others and to overcome misunderstandings.
We are challenged to follow the example given us by Jesus. Do we hunger for truth, for life, and for love? Let us share this with each other today and every day!