A reading from the gospel according to John 6:35-40:
35 Jesus said to the crowds, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
36 But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe.
37 Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
38 because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.
39 And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day.
40 For 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.”
Reflection: Bread of Life
While the Israelites were in the desert during their exodus from Egypt, they complained of hunger and thirst. So God provided them with bread called manna from heaven but this bread, like any other physical bread, can only satisfy hunger for a time being.
In the New Testament, Jesus also fed thousands of hungry men and women including children by multiplying a few loaves of physical bread. Again, the people were satisfied but only for a short time. He then took this occasion to teach them that He is the bread of life and that anyone who eats of this bread will not die but will have eternal life (John 6:51).
There is physical hunger which can be satisfied with physical food but deep inside every man or woman, there is spiritual hunger that only God can satisfy. This kind of hunger makes ones heart restless and as St. Augustine prayed, it is restless until it rests in God.
It is said that Man is never contented. He is never satisfied because his human needs and wants are enormous. Yet, people who have deep relationship with God find their heart filled with joy and their mind filled with peace. They learn to accept their limitation and they experience fullness of life.
In our gospel reading above, Jesus is inviting everyone to believe in Him as the living bread. He is the Son of God who was sent to fill the emptiness in our heart. In Him, there is no rejection. From Him, we receive the most important gift – eternal life.
For further reflection, go here.