The Dawn of the Dead is a horror movie in which zombies shamble around, looking for human flesh to eat. In a bit of social satire, the film makers have the zombies gravitate toward those places where they’d found the most meaning in life. And where do the zombies end up? A shopping mall! The somber joke here is that many of us in our materialistic, consumerist society are like zombies, walking around half dead, because we seek satisfaction- seek life!- in things that ultimately fail to provide it. And so we end up hungry for that which can give meaning, and thirsting for real purpose and satisfaction.
Which brings us to today’s gospel. People hungry for truth and meaning came to Jesus, not exactly sure what they were looking for, and uncertain about what Jesus might be able to give them. To their surprise, Jesus offered them himself: “I am the bread of life,” he said. “Whoever comes to me will never hunger; whoever believes in me will never thirst.” By welcoming Jesus into their lives, and receiving him in the Eucharist they could really and truly live, and find the meaning, purpose, and direction that they sought after in the wilderness. And the same is true for us. “Sir,” prayed the crowds, “give us this bread always!” Let that be our cry, as well.
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/051011.shtml