Dealing With The Hard Bread of Life

Daily Reflection -4/28/2023

Sacred Scripture

After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee [of Tiberias]. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit].” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone. (John 6:1-15)


Bread and other kinds of food are regularly used in both the Old and New Testaments to represent the ways by which God sustains us.

Since bread is so clearly a sign of God’s nourishment, it is important to consider how such a gift is offered. There are times when God gives us today’s bread and sometimes its hard bread.

In John  6: 60-69  we learn that many disciples leave Jesus’ company because his teaching is difficult to accept. His bread is hard. Sometimes the sustenance God offers us is not what we expect or prefer. Sometimes today’s nourishment is the opportunity to confront someone who is out of line or reconcile with an enemy. Sometimes God wants to feed us by asking us to face a flaw in ourselves or deal with a problem in our family. The bread God offers can be dry and difficult to eat. In those circumstances, Peter speaks for us all, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” We might not like the bread God offers, but it is still for our good. Even when the bread we are given is hard, it is still our sustenance.

People of faith believe that God is always guiding and sustaining us. When the morning dew evaporates and we see the bread God has left for us today, it is important to trust. Today’s bread is a unique gift, suited for our present circumstances. It will not keep for tomorrow. Now is the time to eat it. And when we realize that today’s bread is dry and will require effort to chew and courage to swallow, remember from whose hand it comes. The God who feeds us is our Savior. The nourishment God offers is for our good.

That is part of our faith journey.

We don’t just love God in the good times, we love God all the time. And God is with us all the time. He takes our hand in moments of despair and sadness and gives us the courage to move forward.

In those periods of our life when we are feeling alone, He stands beside us and walks each step of the way with us, guiding and holding us up.

Never, ever does God leave those He loves. Knowing that, our spirit may be bowed but we persevere.

Because we know that even hard bread leads to life.

Prayer of The Day

Lord, help me to have faith in Your perfect plan for my life.  Help me to know that You are in control when life seems out of control.  In those moments, may the faith I manifest be a gift to You so that You can use it for Your glory.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Daily Note

The Lord alone can satisfy the deepest longing of our heart. The feeding of the five thousand shows the remarkable generosity of God and his great kindness towards us. When God gives, he gives abundantly. He gives more than we need for ourselves so that we may have something to share with others, especially those who lack what they need.

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