St. Stephen is considered the “proto-martyr” or first martyr. In today’s first reading from Acts 6, we see St. Stephen being put on trial, with many false witnesses coming to testify against him. In the Gospel, we continue with John 6.
We hear Jesus say to the people, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” This is the beginning of the Bread of Life discourse, where Jesus tells the people of His Eucharistic Self, but in a way that they don’t quite get. But more on that in the coming days.
I believe that John 6:27 (quoted above) begs the question – What am I working for? Are you working to make a buck? Are you working to feed your family? Are you working to make a name for yourself? And, as well, who are you working for? Your company? Your boss? Your family? Yourself?
While all of these things are certainly not bad, and may, indeed, be honorable, the bottom line is that we need to be working for Jesus. All that we do should be done to glorify God. Because working for anything else, though it may put food on the table and gas in the car and money in the bank, won’t last for eternity. We need to work for “the food that endures for eternal life.”
Father, we thank you for the gift of work. Help us to always remember what, and who, we are really working for. Amen.