Nourishment for Eternal Life

John 6: 30-35
Acts 7:51—8:1a / Ps 33

I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
(John 6:35)

Who puts our Lord Jesus Christ first
Will never go hungry or thirst.
If we must seek true life instead,
We’ll find it in the Living Bread.

The Jews said to Jesus, ‘What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” ’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’ (John 6:30-35)

Reflection

The Jews kept asking for a sign from Jesus, despite the fact that He had already fed more than five thousand of them (with 12 baskets left over) from five loaves and two fish. It seems that the previous miracle had not been enough proof of His divinity, but had only whetted their appetite for more exciting displays of power. Like their ancestors who received manna from heaven everyday during their sojourn in the desert, they wanted Him to “give us this bread always.”

Like those Jews in Jesus’ time who were only thinking about their physical needs, there are still many people today who only seek to satisfy their hunger for food and other material needs, but neglect the more important needs of their famished souls. Every time we take a stroll in the mall near our home, we notice that almost all the restaurants and fast food chains are packed with people. The same can be said in practically all the other malls we go to. Filipinos are a food-loving people. But they say Filipinos are also a very religious people — in fact the only predominant Christian nation in Asia. So how come our churches are not as packed with people like our restaurants on any day except Sunday? Is Sunday the only time we can receive the Bread of Life, Who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world?

God created us to receive not only mere physical nourishment, but more importantly, to be sustained by His Spirit as well. As Jesus Himself said, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Mt.4:4) This nourishment can only come from regularly reading and reflecting on the Word of God, and receiving the Bread of Life.

Nothing nourishes more than You, Lord Jesus, in Your Eucharist, and in Your Word. Let me receive You always, to be sanctified by Your Spirit, and be inspired and strengthened for the work ahead. Thank You, Father for our Daily Bread. Amen.

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