In today’s gospel, Jesus talks about bread in a way we have known all our lives: “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.”
Jesus talks about Himself in those words. The amount of joy we receive when we believe and abide in Him. When we consume Him, He becomes a part of us and us a part of Him. And when He claims that He is the Bread of Life, He also states that the bread He gives is His own flesh, which He gives for the life of the world.
He shares with us that coming to Him, and believing in Him is the same as partaking of His flesh and drinking His blood. He is not saying that by partaking of communion or the Lord’s Supper we are saved, but by believing into Him and who He is: The Bread, which has come down out of heaven.
As surely as the people of Israel died eating “manna,” we will die if we only partake of the physical bread of life.
There are times when we become consumed by the desire for material things— earthly desires that make us think they are the only means to fulfillment of our lives.
More often than not, it only leads us to heartache and pain. The hunger for things or food alone will never satisfy.
So we must reflect on what satisfies our hunger. What are we hungry for? Where did we go to satisfy those hungers, and where did we end up? When we are faced with situations that require wisdom, strength and perseverance, do the things we used to satisfy our hunger matter in nourishing our entire being?
God satisfies our hunger through Jesus. Believe that He is the Bread of Life, the one and only who can satisfy our spiritual hunger.
When we partake in the Holy Eucharist, we not only unite with Jesus but with all who believe that this spiritual sustenance is a glimpse of the feast that we will one day enjoy in God’s loving arms when we enter our eternal home.