If you would like to read more commentary on Pope Francis’ Synod Letter Amoris Laetitia, click on http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otc.cfm?id=1380 . It is a bit heavy in places.
I must admit that it has taken me considerable time to get my head around what ‘Bread of Life’ means, the subject of today’s gospel passage John 6:30-35.
I tell you most solemnly,
it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven,
it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven,
the true bread;
for the bread of God
is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world’.
‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.’
Assume for the sake of argument that the main food source of the world is bread (as it probably was in Jesus’ time). Bread would thus be the energy source for all the physical activity of the people. When Jesus says he is the ‘Bread of Life’ he means that he, himself, is the energy source for all the spiritual activity of the people. Jesus is spiritual food in this since. This is what Jesus means in today’s passage when he says: “for the bread of God [Jesus himself] is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” It is also what Jesus means when he says: “I am the bread of life.”
How do we avail of this all important spiritual food which will sustain us spiritually as we journey to the Promised Land, our Father’s House? Well, firstly we have to COME to Jesus, approach him in faith. As he says above: “He who comes to me will never be [spiritually] hungry.” The importance of coming to Jesus in faith is stressed in the next line: “he who believes in me will never [spiritually] thirst.”
Another way that we COME to Jesus in faith is by receiving him worthily in Holy Communion. This is developed later in John 6. By receiving Jesus’ Body and Blood he enters into common-union with our selves, our flesh and blood humanity. Through this union with him, we receive his spiritual life and vitality. It is like when we eat ordinary bread. When that bread comes inside of us it releases its energy and goodness and thus we are empowered for physical living.