Faith in the Bread of Life

John 6:35-40

Acts 8:1-8 / Ps 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,

If we believe in God’s loving care.

The Bread of Life is conceivable

In the Eucharist that we all share.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever 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 those He has given me, but raise them up on the last day. For this is the will of the Father, that anyone who sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.” (John 6:35-40)

Reflection

On our flight back to our city, we were privileged to meet a highly acclaimed singer and actress at the airport, who shared that she is a Christian who is in the teaching and healing ministry. We agreed on the power of prayer and the works of the Holy Spirit, but she disagreed with the Catholic devotion to the Blessed Mother, especially in praying the holy rosary. In fact she scoffed at the infallibility of the pope in matters of doctrine, nor believed in the Holy Eucharist as a Source of spiritual food, the Bread of Life for our souls. She was convinced that “Catholics are so deluded.”

Christians who question the validity of the Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus 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. “Born again Christians” who claim that their faith is Biblical should check out John 6:53, where Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you.” Surely, our Lord was not being literal in this instance. The words of our Lord may have been 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), but He 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. And His mandate in this most important event in His ministry could not have been clearer: “…do this in memory of me.” (Luke22:19)

The Gospel of Matthew ends with Jesus’ words: “I am with you always until the end of time.” Like the bread that we eat every day as our regular source of nourishment, so is the Bread of Life available to us daily for our spiritual nourishment. Our Lord Jesus is always there for 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. Amen.

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