Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.
Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
There are two kinds of belief: belief that something is true and belief in someone as trustworthy. In both cases, one must make a judgment. But in the first case, the judgment is based more on rational reflection than on subjective experience; in the second case, the judgment arises from a strong feeling-level experience rather than from purely logical argument. In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus says: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day” (John 6:44). The Father is offering us eternal life in and through our positive response to a feeling-level experience of Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). But to make that leap of faith, we need divine grace, deep trust in God’s personal care for us as mistake-prone pilgrims on the way to salvation.
—Fr. Joseph Bracken, S.J. is an emeritus professor of theology at Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
You are the way, the truth, the life
Without the way there is no going
Without the truth there is no knowing
Without the life there is no growing
Show us the way, that we may go
Teach us the truth, that we may know
Grant us the life, that we may grow
—Ted Tracy, S.J.