Fr. Sanctus Mario
Inspiration and Bible Reflections

What God desires From Us. 18th Week Ordinary Time of the Year B

Sunday Breakfast With the Word 18th Week Ordinary Time of the Year B

Exodus 16:2-4,12-15, Ephesians 4:17,20-24, John 6:24-35





A priest told a story of a man who was wandering around when he was celebrating mass. As the mass was going on, the man was busy moving around. After the mass, the priest met the man and asked him the reason he was not paying attention during the Holy Mass. The young man replied to Him that the reason he came is not to attend the Holy mass. He only came to seek financial assistance. So, he came and saw that the mass was going on and decided to wait. The priest asked him, “Does it mean you are not interested in the Holy mass?” The man replied to the priest “the holy mass won’t give me anything. 


Secondly, a story was told of a bishop who went for a pastoral visit. After the mass, the bishop was moving around touching and blessing some people. When the people saw the bishop, they began to rush to Him and some people lifted his hands to lay on their heads. Then there was a certain young man who remained unperturbed at what was going on. Some people who were around him began to push him to go and receive His blessings. The young man said, “The bishop should hold his blessing, for now, I need money more than that blessing”. 


Recently, the thirst for the spiritual is going down. We are more interested in what to eat, what to wear, how to appear gorgeous, the nails and eye shadows to put, the necklaces to wear, the pleasures and parties to enjoy. Hence, once church is mentioned, we begin to give excuses why we shouldn’t go to church, we give excuses why we won’t receive holy communion etc.


Like the two stories above, today we are occupied with the incessant quest for material things to the extent that we are losing interest in the spiritual. What God desires from us is beyond the material things that we see. When God provides something for us, He expects us to look beyond that to capture what that signifies or means.


Human beings are concerned with the acquisition of material things. We are more interested in how to satisfy our human needs more than the spiritual.

 God in his infinite love and mercy gives us these things but He expects that through them we shall know how much He loves and cares for us. But we fail to do this and continue to seek more. Man remains ungrateful and insatiable. 

Hence, when we do not get what we want from God, we lose hope and lose faith in God. What God desires from us is beyond the physical needs to satisfy our spiritual needs. We do not have to forget the soul as we take care of the body. 



God Always Provides Our Needs.



1.In the first reading, the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron. They question the reason God leads them into the desert to allow them to die of hunger. Because of this, God promises Moses that He will rain down bread from heaven for them. Hence, the people will come there to gather their daily portion. 

God tells Moses, “Tell them in the evening twilight that you shall eat flesh and in the morning, you shall have your fill of bread. God in His love, made bread fall from heaven. He does this to show He loves the people. He does this to show the people that they should trust Him because He is in charge of their needs. 


2.God tells Moses in today’s first reading “In the morning, you shall have a fill of bread so that you may know that I am the Lord, I Am your God”. Hence, the reason God does that is to let them understand that He is their God and that He can feed them despite the lack of food in the desert.

 Therefore, the essence is that they should not be worried about provision. He is in charge. Even when the Israelites saw how the environment was filled with fine flakes in the morning, they asked Moses “what is this” which in Hebrew means “Ma’n Hu?” {?מן הוא} 

Hence, it is from this question that we derive the origin of the name “manna”. Manna means “what is this”.

Moses replies to them that this is the bread the Lord has given them to eat. 

This bread comes from God directly. God gives us this directly to eat. So, God always provides for our needs despite the lack. He does this to show us that He is always in charge and will always nourish our thirst. 




3. In the gospel, the people referred to this manna which God uses to feed the Israelites. They referred to it, to make Jesus feed them with the same bread as He did in the feeding of the five thousand. 

But Jesus replies that it is not Moses who fed them with the bread from heaven but the father. And this bread which comes down from heaven gives life. When the people ask Jesus to give them the bread always, Jesus refers to Himself as the bread of life. 

Therefore, the bread that was fed the Israelites, though it is to satisfy their immediate needs, goes beyond that. The people failed to look beyond that because of the quest to satisfy their immediate needs. 



4. God always provides for our needs. Sometimes when God provides us with our immediate needs or answers our prayers, He expects us to read meaning in that and go beyond that to learn what He can do and who He is. 

But we fail to do this because we are only concerned about our material needs. Also when that material needs do not feel like coming the way we want, we lose faith and begin to grumble like the Israelites.

 It is their quest to satisfy their earthly hunger that made the people grumble against Moses and Aaron. Hence, our quest to satisfy our daily needs makes us complain, grumble and even fight among ourselves. Hence, even if God provides us with those things we will remain unsatisfied. 

So, what God desires from us is to look beyond our daily provision to trust and believe in Him. 

It is also a call to trust and believe in Jesus, through whom our salvation is sure. This is the reason St Paul tells us in the second reading to put away every selfish and deceitful desire and be renewed. We need to put on the new self and seek God’s righteousness first. 

Hence, this is what God desires from us. He desires that as we seek to satisfy our material needs, let them lead us to relationship and closeness with God. 



5. The bread that comes from down from heaven prefigures the one whose coming is to nourish and give us life. The responsorial psalm today calls it the heavenly bread and the food of the angels. We eat this every day at the eucharistic table. God feeds us with this bread at the altar every day to fill our lives with graces that will help us overcome and walk through the temptations and challenges of this world until the end of time.



Our Quest For Material Things.



1.In Deuteronomy 18:18, God promises Moses that He is going to raise a Prophet like him from among his brothers. He will put His words into His mouth and he is going to speak all that He commands. 

So, after Jesus fed the multitude, which is an event that happened before that of today, the jews thought that Jesus is the prophet they have been waiting for which God promises to send to them. They saw Jesus providing bread with the way Moses did and they recognised Jesus as the prophet.



2.They even wanted to force Jesus to recognise Him as their earthly king. (John 6:14-15). So, on the following day, that is after the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, many of the people that were fed wondered where Jesus had gone with the disciples. When they saw that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, they also entered into the boat and sailed to Capernaum to meet Jesus



3.Here, we can see how the people sacrificed their time, sacrificed even their rest, seeking Jesus. This shows that people are more interested in the stomach more than the soul. Entering the boat shows that they need to sail through the sea to go to Capernaum to meet Jesus and yet the people sacrificed that.



 In the same way, we can sacrifice a lot to get what we want. We can go to any extent to fulfil our bodily desires. In the quest for material possessions, man goes even to the extent of risking his life to make it in life. Yet the person that says He loves God will not sacrifice only 2 km to attend church. 



4. We can sacrifice even our financial resources for the pleasure of this world, but when it comes to God, we remember that we are weak, tired and poor. It is hard for us to sacrifice even our time and our resources for the worship of God. 


Today, the quest for material things is eating deep into the moral fabric of society. What we desire is to be rich, wealthy, and have more money in our accounts. We pray for destiny helpers etc, hence we sometimes forget to desire a close relationship with God. We forget to seek God’s mercy and the salvation of our souls. The quest for material things has made us forget to pray for our last end and eternal life. Today we pray only for miracles, breakthroughs and upliftment. 



When We want to get What we Want.



When the people saw Jesus, they said “Rabbi, when did You come here? First of all, they respectably addressed Him and shouted Rabbi!! Maybe trying to get His attention. 

Hence, this is exactly what happens when we want to get something from someone. We give the person pet names and praise Him or flatter him. Also asking Jesus “when did you get here” was as if they were very caring. Hence when people want to get what they want, they first present an image of someone kind, caring and innocent. But when they get what they want, they change overnight.



2. Knowing what they have in mind, Jesus did not answer the question. Jesus would have answered straightforwardly by saying “yes I walked on the sea of Galilee, then my disciples went through the boat, that is how I came here”. Hence what God desires from us is to be straightforward in our actions. What God desires from us as Jesus shows here is not pretence but being straightforward in action. 


3. Jesus tells them plainly that they seek Him not because of the signs but because they ate loaves of bread and were filled. So, here you can see that instead of telling them when and why He came to Capernaum, Jesus tells them the reason they came. There is no time for pretence here. Why they came is not that they are caring as they want to show but because they want more food. 



4. This also shows how insatiable we can be. Hence the insatiability of man shows in his quest for material things. We acquire but we are not satisfied. We tend to acquire more and more. The more we acquire, the more we seek for more. Therefore, there is no contentment in this world. If you think there is a level you will reach in this world and everything would be alright with you, please think again. Even those who have, want to have more. This is the reason many politicians refuse to bow out of the political game. Their hunger for having, increases by having. 



5.Like the people today, we want to acquire the whole world, this is the reason a man would like to dispossess their family inheritance from his brothers and try to have them alone. This is the reason many will do everything to be on top, even if it means killing another person. We want to have more yet we forget that we will abandon all these in the end.



The Insatiability of Man.


Despite whatever man has or wants to have, he can never be satisfied. He remains insatiable. Despite having been fed by Jesus they still seek Him. They seem not to be satisfied, therefore there is nothing you can gain in this world that will give you satisfaction. 


True contentment comes through Jesus. Even when Jesus advises them not to work for the food that perishes but for the one that endures for eternal life. They begin to ask Jesus what they will do to accomplish the works of God. Hence they are asking what they will be doing so that they can be having such food always, hence you see that man is ready to do anything to satisfy his need. 



2. When Jesus tells them that they must believe in Him. These people who experienced the miracle of the five thousand began to ask Jesus to show them a sign again which will make them believe. 



Therefore this shows how a spirituality that is built only on miracles can be dangerous. Do not build your spirituality only on what God does or doesn’t do. Such spirituality doesn’t last. When those things stop coming, they lose faith in God and may begin to search for quick solutions. 

3. To tell Jesus what they want, they begin to refer to the manna that Moses fed the Israelites with. In essence, they want to eat more bread. 



Therefore, when Jesus tells them that it was not Moses who gave them the bread but the father in heaven. They told Jesus “Sir, Please give us this bread always”. Now they made known to Jesus what they wanted. All These words that Jesus has been saying are not what they want. What they want is the food. 

Hence, this shows exactly what the two persons at the beginning of this write up did. They want the financial resources and not the blessings. This also shows how ungrateful we can be to God. God does things for us but instead of believing in Him, we neglect Him to seek more material acquisitions. 



What God desires from Us.



In the gospel when the people came looking for Jesus. Jesus lets them understand that the reason they are looking for Him is not because of the signs He performed but because they want more food. 

The signs that Jesus worked have shown them the type of person that Jesus is. Signs point towards something. So, It would have been enough to let them know that Jesus is the messiah to come. 

Yes, He is the prophet Whom God is to send (Deuteronomy 18:18). But the people are only interested to satisfy their hunger and forget to see Jesus as one. Therefore when God does something for you, He expects you to use that and know what He can do in your life.


Therefore, He expects that through what He does for you, you will come closer to Him. This is what God desires from us. He desires we relate with Him more. He desires that we come to Him more because of the love or the bond we share with Him and not because only because of miracles and breakthroughs. 



2. Jesus also tells the people that what they should labour is for the food that endures for life and not the food that perishes. Hence, what Jesus is saying is that the way they laboured to find Him, the way they laboured to seek for the stomach and keep communicating with Him only to satisfy a little hunger should also be the way they should desire Him. 



Jesus is the bread of life, therefore, what God desires from us is also to make sincere efforts to believe in Jesus. When the people ask Him what work they can do to accomplish the works of God, Jesus tellsthem that it is only to believe in the one He sends. 



Therefore to believe that Jesus is true and his words are true is what Jesus desires. Therefore we shall desire Him more than anything. The alleluia chorus says that one doesn’t live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.


Those asking this question to Jesus went to a lot of trouble to follow and find Him. Yet their work was for the food which perishes filling their stomachs, gaining power, and building earthly kingdoms. Jesus wanted to them labour for the food which endures for everlasting life. This is what God desires from us. It is not only breakthroughs and miracles.



3. In conclusion, Jesus says “I Am the bread of life” Whoever comes to me will never hunger and whoever believes in me will never thirst. Therefore, Jesus gives them two ways they can satisfy their hunger. 


Hence Jesus is telling them that life can not be satisfied only to fill the stomach. The way to achieve full contentment is to come to Him and believe in Him. 


Therefore, this is an invitation to turn back from our sinful living and receive Jesus again. This is also a call to believe His words without shifting right or left.


By coming to Jesus with our pasts, our hunger, our sins, we shall have them be forgiven, healed and yet He will fill us with His graces. The coming here is performed by desire, prayer, trust, and obedience to Him.





1. When the people ask What they shall do to work the works of God, Jesus tells them to focus on the food that endures forever. Hence, Jesus is that food that endures forever.


Matthew 6:33 says “seek you first the kingdom of God”. Therefore what God desires from us is not only seeking healing, miracles and breakthrough. We are not to focus on material things, how we are going to ride good cars. Our focus should be on having a good relationship with the Lord.


To labour for it means it will take our time, our efforts and sacrifice. But today we can have time to do anything but when it comes to God, we become tired. What God desires from us is to seek Him with our whole heart.



2. Today the quest for material things has made many people forget they have a soul. We are more concerned about worldly welfare than we care for our salvation.


This is why many can go to any extent to kidnap and steal to make it in life, yet they will not make any single effort to save their souls. So, this gospel reminds us that as we fight for our wellbeing, let us not forget that the soul also needs to be taken care of. Remember your soul. Everything you acquire in this world must surely end in this world.



3. When the people saw Jesus, they began to look for more food. This shows that they are yet to believe in Jesus. This is the plight of those who build their spirituality around miracles and signs and wonders. 


When our spirituality is only built on what God can do, or not do, any day it looks as if He cannot do it again, we may begin to lose faith. 

Our relationship with God must go beyond signs and wonders to close communion with God. The question we are to ask ourselves today is “when we pray to God, what do we pray for? Have we prayed for our salvation for one day? What of our sinful life? What efforts do we make to come out of them? 



4. It is not that the things we are asking for are wrong, but we should know that they are not the primary. The primary is to come to Jesus always and believe in Him. The salvation of our souls should come first more than any other thing.



5.Finally, these people are seeking Jesus because of their material needs. Then we ask ourselves; why are we seeking Jesus? What is truly the intention of your coming to the chapel every day?

Is it because of the love you have for Jesus or is it because of a particular problem you want God to solve for you and when He solves it, you go back to square one? 

 What is the reason you are working for God? What is the reason you are working for the church? Is it only for material gain or is it truly because of the burning desire to serve God?

What God desires from us is a sincere relationship and not a relationship motivated by selfish desires. 



6a. Like the people who wanted the bread more than the bread of life Jesus Christ, We want blessings from God but we are not ready to relate with the giver of blessings. 

We seek the food that perishes more than the food that lasts forever.  Today, we seek miraculous signs more than having close communion with the miracle worker, Jesus.


Like the people who even were not attracted by Jesus’ compassion, the power of His words and the display of His power, we also become untouched that Jesus does everything for us. 


We find it hard to have a relationship with Jesus who loves us so much but we are only interested in our stomachs. The display of the miraculous food attracted people today more than the person that performs the miracle.

Yet what God desires is that we shall come to know Him more through the things that He does for us. 



6b. When we are hungry, we feel as though food will answer all our problems. It’s the same way with almost all other practical difficulties we find ourselves in. 



Just as Jesus tried to lift their understanding above their material, physical needs, so we need to have our minds lifted. The readings of today show that what we want, God can always give us as we see in the first reading but what He desires from us, we cannot give to Him as we see in the gospel. We can then see how ungrateful we are to our God.



May God have mercy on us and give us the grace to remain close to Him despite our needs. May he also never forsake you. Amen.



Happy Sunday and happy new month. 




When We Become Like Herod

When We Become Like Herod. Saturday 17th Week Ordinary Time


  1. Lilian Ndudi says

    Thanks Fr. For this inspiring homily. You highlighted glaring facts and I’m so grateful to you..

    May God bless and keep you for us all, may His wisdom on you never run out and may you continue to grow from glory to glory through Christ our Lord, Amen.

    Happy New Month.

  2. Anyanwu Chiamaka Lilybel says

    Amen and Amen
    Thank you so much Padre for this wonderful words you’ve shared. May God’s oil upon you never run dry and may he continue to strengthen us so as to win souls for him and not to allow the things of the world destroy us🙏

  3. Ochuba Ebuka says

    In having the Lord we have more of Him…

    🙏 That our stomach infrastructure will never be an obstacle to our loving relationship with the Lord

    Happy Sunday
    Beautiful August


    Amen…may God give us the grace to look beyond material gains in the service of God.

  5. Ekwem Emmanuela says

    Amen. Lord give me the grace and strength to always seek for the food that will last forever 🙏. God bless you fr.

  6. Helen says

    Amen! Thank you Padre.

  7. Ifeoma Ugwueze says


  8. Carmela U. Ekwem says

    Amen! & Amen! Thank you Fr for the msg. Though very lenghty, but very inspiring. God bless you Fr

  9. Chinyere Ezemelue says

    Draw me nearer to thee Lord.

  10. Ogwa Oluchi Rose says

    Amen …. Happy new month Fr

  11. OKoli Geraldine Ogonna says

    Amen, Thank you father

  12. Rosemary Umeze says

    Amen. Same to you Padré


    Amen. Thank you very much Father. Happy new month to you.

  14. Chioma Frances Egwuogu says

    O Lord please help me to seek you. To love the giver more than the gift in Jesus name. Amen

  15. Omeke Kelechukwu Philomena says

    Thank you Fr

  16. Prince Gee says

    Amen! We really need God’s endless mercy and grace…
    Tnx for thoroughly treating the readings in favor of Jesus’ “eternally benefitting,” as against man’s usual “myopically materialistic” and discordant viewpoints…
    May God bless u Padre for such inspiring epistolary evangelical menu… 💞

  17. Chisom Egwudike says


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