Today’s Gospel brings us into the heart of the famous Bread of Life Discourse. The Jews are testing Jesus; they want to know if He is the Messiah that would provide for them as Moses did in the wilderness. However, Jesus reveals in no uncertain terms that He has been sent to provide more than just “daily bread.” While the manna in the wilderness sustained the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land. It could not produce eternal life for the Israelites.
Jesus then makes the claim which only God can make, “I am the bread of life.” The bread which Jesus offers is none else than the very life of God. This is the true bread which can truly satisfy the hunger in our hearts. The bread which Jesus offers his disciples sustains us not only on our journey to the heavenly paradise, but it also gives us the abundant supernatural life of God which sustains us both now and for all eternity. When we receive from the Lord's table, we unite ourselves to Jesus Christ, who makes us sharers in his body and blood and partakers of his divine life.
Do you hunger for the bread of life? Ignatius of Antioch (35-107 A.D.) calls it the "one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live forever in Jesus Christ" (Ad Eph. 20,2). This supernatural food is healing for both body and soul and strength for our journey heavenward.
When we fully appreciate what Jesus offers us in the Eucharist, we too should say with eagerness, “… give us this bread always.” Jesus offers us his very life, so that we may be in Holy Communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We should never take this sacramental gift, truly the source and summit of our faith, for granted.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection:
Do you hunger for God and for the food which produces everlasting life?