“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” John 6:29b
I have spent many years working in different professions. I’ve worked in secular professions and in faith-based professions. Each job title on my resume shows a step forward, a bit of a better professional position, more education. And for what purpose? Like most of us, I work to earn money to support my family and take care of our needs. For many years, it was only needs that were met and that was fine. It all worked out in the end.
But really, what is our work here on earth? To love God and as Jesus says to “believe in the one he sent.” On my desk is a St. Ignatius Loyola prayer card that says, “Man is created to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord and in this way save his soul.” We tend to make things complicated. Or maybe that’s me, not you? I wonder, “Am I doing God’s will? What is God’s will?”
Jesus tells us so simply, believe in who God sent. Who did God send? Jesus! Believe in him and then, put first things first. Praise God. Give him reverence. Serve him in your daily life. When God is first, life has a way of being in the right order.
In all of John chapter 6 the people are looking for signs and wonders, desiring to follow Jesus because he is new and exciting. When he tells them the hard truths, many leave. They decide to work for what satisfies their human desires. Those desires have tripped me many times and I still need to be on guard to not compare myself, not be envious, to stop thinking more is better. What does Jesus offer? True food, deep satisfaction, wholeness. When you and I believe in the one God sent and follow him, we are doing the work and will of the Father.
The work we need to do to provide for ourselves, our families and others will come and through it we can bless others with the benefits we receive. Without believing first though, our work will not bring us lasting fulfillment. Only praising, reverencing and serving God and believing in Jesus gives us lasting fulfillment. As Jesus said, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.” (John 6:27a)
Deanna G. Bartalini, MEd, MPS, is a Catholic educator, writer, speaker, and retreat leader. She has served in ministry for over 40 years as a catechist, religious education director, youth minister, liturgical coordinator, stewardship director and Unbound prayer minister. For all of Deanna’s current work go to DeannaBartalini.com.
Feature Image Credit: pixel2013, https://pixabay.com/photos/nature-boat-wood-waters-lapsed-3201015/