27 April, 2020

Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled”.

~ John 6:26 ~

Let’s be honest. How many of us believe in Christ not so much because of who he is than what we hope to get out of it – a new car, a nice job, true love? We say our prayers, sometimes according to some set formula, and do all the holy stuff because in doing that God will fulfil his side of our ‘bargain’.


That’s one approach. The other is a kind of eternal life insurance. We say our prayers out of fear of damnation after death. Faced with a variety of options, we lose least and potentially gain more by doing the holy thing. That ‘wager’ I just described is described and defended by a famous French philosopher, Blaise Pascal.


If your search for the risen Christ is rooted in either or both of these, don’t feel too embarrassed. We’ve all tried it at some time in our lives.


The challenge in today’s gospel, however, is to seek Christ for who he is, not what he can give us. Not loaves and fish, but himself – who he is, and with that the free invitation to follow him.


And if we do end up with a decent car, a nice job and true love that is just good luck on our part!


Loving God

Help us to love you for who you are

Not for what you can give us;

May your Holy Spirit

Give a deeper insight, in these times,

Into Christ’s Risen life with us.




Catholic Parliamentary

Liaison Office

Jesuit Institute
South Africa

Reflection prepared by

Fr Anthony Egan SJ

Fr Anthony Egan SJ (born Cape Town 1966; entered the Jesuits 1990; ordained 2002) has taught, full-time or part-time, at St Augustine College of South Africa, St John Vianney Seminary, Fordham University (on sabbatical) and the University of the Witwatersrand. The author/co-author of a number of books, book chapters, academic and popular articles, he is a correspondent for America magazine, a contributor to Worldwide and writes for spotlight.africa. He is also a commentator on local and international radio and television. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Helen Suzman Foundation. Extramural interests include Science Fiction, Theatre, Art and creative writing, including poetry.

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