41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." 42 They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, `I have come down from heaven'?" 43 Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
It gives me great hope knowing that Jesus is this bread of life both to me, and to the whole world. For as difficult as it was for the Jewish people to grasp back then—and if we are honest, for most of us even today—it remains the greatest truth and mystery of all time.
When we attend Mass, we are not just innocent bystanders, but rather full participants. One way to become fully involved is during the Eucharistic Prayer. I enter into this particular prayer in this way: Jesus says to his disciples, and to me, “… Take this all of you (Patricia/insert your name) and eat it, for this is my body which will be given up for you… ”
As I enter into this scene, I experience the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon me and filling me with the glory and essence of God. Jesus truly becomes “the bread of life” and I can’t wait to receive him in the Eucharist. He becomes my spiritual food which sustains me throughout my life and for my journey home.
It is at this time that I experience myself becoming one with the Triune God, and with all believers.I want to fall to my knees in awe of what I’ve just received—for there is no other stance which captures the essence or humility of being in the true presence of Jesus.It is truly the most sacred and holy experience of my day—of my life—and I want to absorb as much of this sacredness as possible.
I become acutely aware of how truly blessed I am (we are) to be filled with the Holy Spirit through whom we are drawn by the Father to enter into this profound and life-giving mystery. In my husbands words, “Jesus can pass through the membrane of heaven and earth. I can only pass through with Him and in Him.” (Matt Kerrigan)
Today’s scripture goes on to say, "It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father.Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life."
Today’s Gospel, my dear sisters in Christ, is the cornerstone of our faith. I believe we have a huge responsibility to carry this message to the world.But It’s not enough to profess that Jesus is the living bread: We have to consume, digest (ponder), and absorb Him into the very fibre of our being—so everything we think, say and do will reflect the glory of God.
Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit. Bring the entire world to the supper of the Lamb, so all will come to hunger and thirst for the things that bring the love and peace of Christ to the world. Amen.