“The business of America is business,” said President Calvin Coolidge in the 1920’s. And I think we can appreciate what he meant. We Americans work hard, and we like to make money.
However, today’s gospel has a message for us. We heard of people who came to Jesus seeking food. They wanted to fulfill their legitimate material, physical needs. And Jesus wants to meet these needs. That’s why, just the day before, he had fed these same people with loaves and fishes. But then he urged them, on this day, to look beyond the physical and the material. They should work for the food that only he can give.
We Americans need to hear these words. Because sometimes in our preoccupation with work, “the business of business,” we forget about what Jesus really wants us to work for; in our focus upon the material, we neglect the spiritual. The challenge for us is not to become so immersed with putting bread on the table, that we deprive ourselves of the bread of life.