Living on the Bread of Life

John 6:22-29
Acts 6:8-15 / Ps 119

The work of God is this: that you believe in the one He sent.
(John 6:29)

Not on the things of this world,
But on the next must we be intent;
“This is the work of God
That you believe in the One He sent.”

The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not gone along with His disciples in the boat, but only His disciples had left. Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus. When they found Him on the other side of the lake, they asked Him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him God the Father has set His seal.” Then they asked Him, “What must we do to accomplish the works God?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: that you believe in the one He sent.” (John 6:22-29)

Reflection

The “food that endures for eternal life” that Jesus was referring to was His own flesh and blood, transubstantiated in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. God “set His seal” on this ‘Covenant’ when at the Last Supper, our Lord Jesus said, “This cup (of wine) is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you” (Lk.22:20).

There is food for the body and food for the mind. There is also food for the soul. There is good food that nourishes well, and bad food that only makes us sick. There are good books and magazines that empower and inspire, and pornographic smut that can pollute our minds. We must be able to discern well the kind of foods that we consume for our body, mind and spirit. Our choices determine the kind of person that we become, as well as the condition of our physical and spiritual well-being.

For instance, for twenty-five years I had been maintaining a meatless diet, which was very beneficial to my health. However, three years ago, I went back to eating meat again, and it wasn’t long before my doctor prescribed medication for my high blood pressure. If not for my regular jogging exercise, he would have prescribed medication for a high cholesterol level too.

The same principle applies to our spiritual well-being. The constant reading of the Bible, and other spiritual books and magazines nourish and keep healthy not only our mind, but our spirit as well. Most important of all, regularly partaking of the Body of Christ in the Holy Eucharist will keep us spiritually fit and strong.

The right way that we take care of our bodies and souls lead us to seek the company of like-minded Christians – brothers and sisters in God’s flock who lead healthy and wholesome lifestyles. We form strong bonds of brotherhood because we “feed” on each others’ spiritual experiences, and we grow stronger as Christians because of each others’ Godly influences.

We partake of One Bread in Jesus Christ, and we grow together as one people, adoring One God, Who nourishes us all. Amen.

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