Jesus challenged those in today's Gospel with the same hidden metaphor he had used earlier with the woman at the well in Samaria (John 4:1-14). "Do not work for the food that perishes," he said. "Work for food that lasts unto eternal life. The Son of man will give it to you. He has been endorsed by God the Father." Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." He spoke to take their interest away from barley loaves and fish, from worldwide prestige under a king, and to direct it to himself. He had to make them ask, What do you mean, come? What do you mean, believe? The meaning of the Gospel lies in the words Jesus spoke when the crowd was willing to earn the daily food by trying to do righteous deeds. He said, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." The people remembered the stories of the manna, but they had forgotten the challenge to trust with which it had been given. It is the sin of human nature to regard God's gift as deserved. We feel that we have health and wealth because of what we are and do. We resent what we do not have, and we search for ways to manipulate God into giving them to us by whatever name we call him: fate, or luck, or God. Jesus' answer to the crowd's question is that we gather to fulfill God's purpose, not to satisfy our appetites. That is particularly true when we gather to eat and drink. Eating and drinking is the sign of our fellowship. In our fellowship God is present. Where God is present his purposes prevail.