I am the Bread of Life

08-05-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

Today's liturgy and the Word of God present us with Jesus as the Bread of Life. Bread is a substance known and used by every society on the face of the earth. It is a gift of God to humanity adapted by the nature in order to be a source of nourishment. In the Old Testament God took care of his people by giving them food for their survival. He gave them Manna in the desert which was the type of divine bread placed before his chosen people.

In the New Testament Jesus calls himself the bread of Life and tells us that those who eat him will live forever. Jesus presents himself as the person who wants to be part of us. He tells the disciples that he is the real bread we all need this bread that has come down from heaven and they have to believe in him. To believe in a person is to make an investment of one's whole self. It is an act of faith, of trust and a letting go. It is much more than just accepting what a person says as being true. Indeed, the person who comes to him will never go hungry.

In the first reading from the Book of Exodus God becomes the provider when there was real lack of food for the people of Israel and they were afraid that they may die, God comes to their aid giving them bread from heaven. In the second reading Paul invites all to possess life eternal by giving up sin and selfishness. He tells the Ephesians not to live an aimless life but a life centered on Jesus

Since the end of the Eastertide and the special feasts that followed, we have been listening to the Gospel of Mark during our Sunday celebrations of the Liturgy of the Word. When we reached chapter 6 of the Gospel of Mark, which also has a narrative about the multiplication of loaves, the gospel readings have jumped to chapter 6 of the Gospel of John! For five Sundays (from the 17th Sunday until 21st Sunday) the church invites us to listen to the whole chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, and to reflect on the meaning of the Eucharist. Besides the feast of Maundy Thursday and the feast of the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus, these five weeks are yet another opportunity to meditate on Jesus, the Bread of Life.