I Am the Bread of Life

08-22-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

With the exception of our little (worthy) detour for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we’ve spent the last several weeks of Sunday Gospels in the Bread of Life Discourse (as found in John 6).

It began with Jesus establishing His own divinity. He does this by echoing the great prophet Elisha’s miracle found in 2 Kings 42-44, but literally multiplying the number fed. (John 6:5-14.) Then, Jesus further establishes his divinity by walking on water. (John 6:16-21)

In John 6:29, Jesus asks his followers to “believe in the one God has sent.” Hilariously, these folks actually ask, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?” JESUS JUST FED 5000 and WALKED ON WATER. It is never enough for us, is it? But they went on, “Our ancestors ate manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

When Jesus describes a bread that “gives life to the world,” (a few weeks ago when) I told you they responded, “give us this bread always.”

Then, Jesus says it. “I am the Bread of Life. (6:35) Everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life. (6:40) He doubles down after the Jews begin to grumble and again says, “I am the bread of life.” 6:48)

Then, Jesus goes all in. Not only is he the Son of God, but he will give us his Flesh to eat. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” Now the Jews stopped murmuring and began “arguing sharply. ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

Jesus doesn’t correct their mistake, because THEY WERE NOT MISTAKEN. “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (6:53) “For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.” (6:55) Now, his own disciples began grumbling and say, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” (6:60)

Does Jesus correct them? Nope. He simply asks, “Does this offend you?” As a result, many of his disciples abandon him. (6:66) Jesus asks the twelve, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Peter responds, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (6:68)

Questions? Comments? Reach David at dlins@oloj.org