I am the bread of life

I am the bread of life…..

The Gospel passage for this Sunday (John 6:24-35) follows on from last Sunday’s in which Jesus feeds the crowd with Five loaves and two fish (John 6:1-15). He enters into a dialogue with the people who asks for more signs, wanting “true manna” or bread sent from God in heaven (John 6:24-35). Through Jesus’ own words, we learn that He is the “bread of life”, the “true Manna” which is from heaven and He gives life to the world.

Jesus is the bread from heaven, which sustains all who partake of it. In typically Johannine fashion, we are taken from the literal to the spiritual, and finally to the actual: Jesus who comes to us in the Eucharist, He is the bread of life.

The early Christians believed this. Below are two of many examples that cannot be refuted:

§ Referring to “those who hold heterodox opinions,” St Ignatius said that “they abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again”

{Ignatius of Antioch, c. A.D. 108, who has been a disciple of the apostle John, in his Epistle to the Smyrnaeans (6:2; 7:1.)}

§ “Not as common bread or common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Saviour was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, . . . is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” {St Justin Martyr, c. A.D. 155 (First Apology 66:1-20).

May we hunger for the true bread of life – always.

God bless, Fr Michael

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