Gospel: Mt 13:54-58 (or Jn 6:22-29)
Jesus went to his hometown and taught the people in their synagogue. They were amazed and said, ”Where did he get this wisdom and these special powers? Isn‘t he the carpenter‘s son? Isn‘t Mary his mother and aren‘t James, Joseph, Simon and Judas his brothers? Aren‘t all his sisters living here? Where did he get all these things?” And so they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, ”The only place where prophets are not welcome is his hometown and in his own family.” And he did not perform many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
We cannot underestimate the importance of biological needs. Just look at the motives that drove the people to search for Jesus, they expend a lot of time and effort in finding Him not because of His life-giving word but because they eat bread and were satisfied. Thus mission must not only be upward looking but must also be mindful of the realities on the ground.
But Jesus without relativizing human biological needs that must be attended to invites the people to a deeper and wholesome form of satisfaction. He invites them to look beyond personal needs and respond to the deeper need of the human spirit. That there is more to life than material satisfaction and comfort. And He called it work. The people should work for food that do not perish. The work is too easy and hard at the same time. They need to believe in Him who was sent by the Father. Thus it is not physical bodily works that assures food that lasts forever but the works of the spirit.