( A commentary on John 6: 30-35)
The crowd said to Jesus: “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” So they said to Jesus, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” (John 6: 30-35)
When the crowd asked Jesus, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you”, I truly think they were asking this without ever really expecting an answer. What the Lord gave them was better than an answer. What he gave them was His Life. And then he gave them a sign. Actually, he gave them a mirror. Look at yourselves. What do you see?
We see ourselves, of course. If we are truly honest, we see that each of us seeks something. Even when we our lives seem full, there is always that small space, that empty spot, that place that asks: “Is there something else. . . “
Our scripture today reminds us that Jesus invites us to reexamine the reasons for our faith, the reason that drive us along our spiritual path. We are often disappointed when we realize that we may have had hidden or ambiguous motives. Maybe we only want bread or consolation or a bit of hope.
But bread is nothing more than the food necessary to confront the journey. The goal, the destination, is beyond. Jesus wants to guide us into a deeper relationship with Him. He wants to help us believe in Him and to recognize that there is no one else that can satisfy our longings. Everything else is temporary and partial.
To be fed by the bread of life we have to soak ourselves in the life of Jesus, to assimilate his Way into our own lives.
One of the most helpful paths to discovering the power of Jesus in our daily lives is to adopt a habit of prayer. I am not talking about saying prayers, although saying prayers is valuable.
The prayer I am suggesting is much simpler. I am talking about connecting regular events in our lives to Christ. For example, when you open your eyes in the morning, why not commit yourself to make that moment a prayer. It can be a simple “Thank you, Lord, for this day,” and perhaps, “Help me with my interview or test today.” In that moment of prayer, Christ will feed you. When you say goodnight to your children or to your spouse, why not make that moment a prayer. You can choose to bless God for the people who make your life worth living. In that blessing, Christ will nourish you.
We need to be fed by Christ every day. How often do we need to be fed? More than once. If Christ is our food, three times a day is reasonable. So, find a way to be fed by Christ daily. Make him your companion at breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and perhaps, even as you snack before you go to sleep.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus Christ, you are the bread of life. You alone can satisfy the hunger in my heart. May I always find in you, the true bread from heaven, the source of life and nourishment I need to sustain me on my journey to the promised land of heaven.”
As bread, Jesus reveals to us that we need him for life and that we need him every day. As bread, Jesus is saying it is not enough to turn to him when we need to be protected or when we need guidance. We need to turn to him every day, because he is our food for life.