John 6: 51-58
“I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. But now here is Bread that truly comes down out of heaven. Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever. I am the Bread—living Bread!—who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live—and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self.”
At this, the Jews started fighting among themselves: “How can this man serve up his flesh for a meal?”
But Jesus didn’t give an inch. “Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you. The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day. My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. By eating my flesh and drinking my blood you enter into me and I into you. In the same way that the fully alive Father sent me here and I live because of him, so the one who makes a meal of me lives because of me. This is the Bread from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and later died. Whoever eats this Bread will live always.”
In the Middle East, as here in the UK, bread is a staple. Where would we be without bread for morning toast or sandwiches at lunch?! Bread is one of those basic foods we eat that make up our normal diet, and it’s bread that is the metaphor that Jesus uses for himself and what he offers us.
Imagine if Jesus had have talked about cake. Cake is what we have on special occasions, a bit of a treat. This would mean that Jesus is only for special occasions, for certain points in our life, and only on special occasions. But he didn’t talk about cake, he spoke about bread which many of us eat everyday, that thing we rely on as a staple in our diet. Jesus isn’t just for special occasions, when we’re on retreat, in Church or go on some pilgrimage. Jesus is there for us all of the time.
Salesian Volunteer & Charity Worker
Lord help us to remember that you are always there for us.
Even if we don’t feel it, we remember your presence.
Help us Lord to let you live through us.