3RD WEEK OF EASTER
I am the bread of life.
Is it any wonder that Jesus promises to satisfy our hunger and thirst? Just as life withers and dies without water and food, so our souls can waste away without Jesus, the Bread of Life. Notice that Jesus doesn’t just mention this image of bread as a passing remark. In the Gospel readings over the next few days, he will say over and over again how vital it is that we come and receive him in this way. He makes it clear that the gift of his flesh and blood is essential if we want to remain in him. So how can we experience all that he has promised us?
First and foremost, we can receive Jesus in the gift of Holy Communion. He promises, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” (John 6:54). This life begins now and finds its fulfillment “on the last day,” when Jesus will raise us up (6:54). This is a profound mystery, and a humble one, but at its heart is the promise that as we partake of him with faith, Jesus becomes part of us. He transforms us from the inside out and makes us more like him.
But it’s not just a matter of receiving him. We can also adore Jesus, both after Communion and in times of quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. What a privilege it is to sit in his presence, pour out our hearts to him, and praise him for redeeming us! There is grace, peace, and mercy to be found in these moments, for we are giving him the opportunity to pour his love into us and to speak his word to our hearts.
Finally, just as earthly bread provides strength to the weary, so heavenly bread strengthens us to serve Jesus in his people. As we receive him and adore him, he opens our eyes to his presence in the least among us. He doesn’t just comfort our hearts; he sends us into the world to extend his mercy to those he came to save. And he promises that as we go, we will encounter him even more deeply. His humility, present in the poor, will melt our hearts and fill us with joy.
“This is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day” (John 6:40). Let’s receive and adore Jesus so that we can better serve him in his people!
“Lord, ‘give us this bread always!’ (John 6:34).”