So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who 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.”
They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
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.
In the Gospel today, Jesus struggles to help the people understand something each of us struggles at times to see: we are thinking too small, too immediate—lost in our daily minutia.
The crowd talks of bread and manna, earthly gifts given to their ancestors to satisfy their immediate hunger. Yet, Jesus tries to broaden their vision to see something bigger: it’s not about bread that satiates hunger, but about “the bread” which animates your very life. Then, Jesus offers himself, “I am the bread of life …”
Jesus calls the crowd to himself, to receive him and ultimately his mission as their “bread of life.” This gift is both a comfort and a challenge to us, because that which animates and gives us life should fundamentally show itself in everything we do, even in our daily minutia.
So, how does “the bread of life” show itself in your daily life?
God, you breathed life into me.
And, you gave me “the bread of life” in your Son.
Help that Life within me spill forth into everything I do.
Let me live the love of Jesus, even in the small moments of my day.
—Colten Biro, SJ