The Bread of Life

John 6: 52-59
Acts 9:1-20 / Psa 117

Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. (John 6:53)

Nothing nourishes more than Jesus,
Our Bread of Life we’re daily fed.
The Spirit of the Lord has led us
To partake of our Daily Bread.

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. (John 6:52-59)

Reflection

The radical words that our Lord used at this point of His discourse could very well have been the determining factor — or the turning point — for the multitude of Jews who decided then and there that, in spite of all the wonders that Jesus had performed, they could no longer be His followers, and in fact would make them turn against Him later to cry out for His crucifixion. Being omniscient, Jesus knew the consequences of His declaration that He “came down from heaven,” and that only by Him and through Him can men be saved and live forever. For the monotheistic Jews, who had never considered that Yahweh their God could have a son, or for God to become a man like them, this doctrine was just too hard to believe. Not to mention that they were being asked to become cannibals by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus.

Aside from this being part of God’s plan leading to His passion and death, His words were also meant to determine who were His true followers that were willing to set aside their traditional beliefs, and putting their full trust in Jesus and His words. Even if they could not as yet make any sense of what the Lord was telling them. They knew Him well enough to speak in ‘figurative terms.’ It would only be in the last supper with Jesus that they would recognize HIM as the Bread of Life, when He blessed the bread, gave it to them and said, “This is my body which will be given for you; do this in memory of me;” and the cup of wine: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you” (Lk.22:19,20).

The apostles would later come to realize these words and actions as His greatest legacy to the Church, wherein He would always be with them whenever this sacrament of the Holy Eucharist was commemorated. Our Lord could not have emphasized this more than in today’s Gospel passage: six times, in verses 53 to 58, He referred to Himself as the Bread of Life that He offered for our nourishment and salvation. That is how imperative it is for us to feed on Jesus, be in Communion with Him in the Holy Mass. The celebration of the Eucharist is available every hour and everyday all over the world, free of charge for everyone who cares for the eternal salvation of his soul.

We praise and thank You, Lord God eternal King, for giving us Your Flesh and Blood to nourish us and make us strong in the battle against evil. We rejoice that You are always with us all the days of our lives, until the end of time. Amen.

Comments are closed.