Faith in the Bread of Life

John 6: 35-40
Acts 8:1b-8 / Psa 66

I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
(John 6:35)

Faith puts hope in the invisible,
Though not visible we know He cares;
His love for us is conceivable
In the Eucharist where Jesus shares.

Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and who-ever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him Who sent me. And this is the will of Him Who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:35-40)

Reflection

Having witnessed (and eaten) the multiplication of bread and fish, the crowd said to Jesus, “Sir, give us this bread always” (John 6:34). They did not understand that Jesus was talking about Himself, the Bread of Life Who had come down from heaven in order to give life to the whole world. They were only concerned with the bread for their bodies’ nourishment. Only the true disciples who believed in Jesus as the Source of nourishment for their souls would have eternal life “and shall be raised on the last day” (Jn.6:40).

The words of our Lord during His earthly life were confounding to the Jews, who only had the testimony of their ancestors during the time of Moses about the manna as the “bread from heaven” (Jn.6:31) that saved Israel from starvation in the desert. How could this son of the carpenter Joseph be the “bread that came down from heaven” as Jesus claimed to be? Our Lord was in fact prophesying about the Holy Eucharist for billions of future Christians, and at the same time preparing His disciples for its institution at the Last Supper.

Christians who question the validity of the Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharistic celebration are like the Jews in today’s Gospel reading who could not see and believe the Bread of Life Who came down from heaven for mankind’s salvation.

The Gospel of Matthew ends with Jesus’ words: “I am with you always until the end of time.” Our Lord Jesus will always be with us in the Holy Eucharist. Receive Him as often as you can.

We believe that You are always with us, Lord, in the breaking of the bread, when we receive You in the sacrifice of the Mass. As in the time of Moses in the desert when You saved your people from starvation, as in the time when bread was miraculously multiplied to feed the multitudes who followed You in the wilderness, so it is in all masses all over the world in the present age, where you nourish our hungry souls. This is the essence of our faith. Amen.

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