The living bread
In the sixth chapter of the gospel of John, which is regarded as one of the great passages in the entire New Testament, there are three different stages. The physical (feeding of the five thousand), the metaphorical (Jesus as the revelation of God) and the sacramental (he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood) stage.
Today’s gospel is on the metaphorical stage. And this stage is transitional. It is indispensable for the full realization of the sacramental stage. This is predicated on the fact that we cannot accept to eat the flesh of Jesus or drink his blood without knowing who he really is.
As a result of this therefore, our Blessed Lord reveals two great doctrines Today. First, that he is the revelation of God, and second, the living bread that comes down from heaven. Both have its own challenges. The Jews who were present when Christ made this strong statement could not even believe the first. This is because, they knew him as the wretched son of a carpenter and he opens his mouth to mention that he is the revelation of God. No wonder they could not stand hearing him invite them to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Moreover, we Christians of today have no doubt about Christ being the revelation of God because we are post Easter product. That is, those who became Christians as a result of his resurrection. Therefore, the power of his resurrection offers us the credence to believe that he is God.
However, we still have our own challenges in the second teaching, the living bread that can nourish us. This challenge is predicated on the fact that our belief is still prevaricating on the possibility that a white host called Holy communion could nourish our souls. It’s really a mystery but could still be interpreted to some extent for the building of our faith.
In the physical realm, we believe that the white chalk called drug after passing through some scientific processes could really heal our physical body, but most of us find it difficult to believe that the white host called Holy communion after passing through consecration processes can really nourish our souls. That is a gross lack of Faith.
I give another instance. The physical 🍞 bread or food that we eat have no life in them in the sense that they are not living entities. But they nourish our physical body and we grow with it due to the faculty of our living body. Give a delicious diet to a dead man, it means nothing to him because he has lost the living faculty of nourishment. Now in the spiritual realm, we are talking about a living bread which is Christ himself. This living bread nourishes us, not by our living physical body but by his own power which is beyond our human reasoning capacity with the condition that the soul is alive. Those who are not spiritual cannot comprehend this mysterious connection.
Meanwhile, as the physical bread becomes relevant on the condition that the physical body is alive, so the spiritual bread becomes more relevant on the condition that the spiritual body (our soul) is alive.
We pray God 🙏 to grant us the grace to retain the spiritual etiquettes that could make our souls alife and kicking before the Living Bread.