Bread of Life Discourse

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

For the next four Sundays, we will be transitioning from the Gospel of St. Mark to the Gospel of St. John, chapter 6. This chapter is known as the “Bread of Life” discourse. Last week Jesus fed five thousand people with only 5 barley loaves and 2 fish. This miracle is a reminder for us to trust in Jesus. Trusting that if we too give him what little we have, he, in turn, will bless us and
our efforts with an overabundance of Grace.

Today’s Gospel segues into the Bread of Life discourse as the crowds were searching for Jesus and found him on the other side of the shore. Jesus embarks upon an amazing teaching moment as he begins the bread of life discourse with, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.” Jesus wants to elevate their faith from a mere materialistic understanding of the multiplication of bread to a spiritual understanding of the Bread of Life that comes down from heaven.

In this discourse, Jesus is helping his listeners to arrive at a certain level of faith that will, in turn, help them come to believe and understand that he is the living bread that comes from Heaven as the Eucharist. This first part of the discourse is an invitation to faith as Jesus opens it by saying, “My Father 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 were so intrigued by this, they replied, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus, not missing a beat continues, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” This is followed by a string of invitations to come to Jesus and believe in him for salvation.

Today and the following Sunday’s will be a great opportunity for us to reflect on the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of our Christian life. May we ask Jesus to increase our faith in the Eucharistic miracle that takes place at every celebration of Holy Mass. May we ask Jesus to increase our belief in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist as we prepare to receive him during Holy Communion.

Remember, without faith we can neither be united with Christ nor recognize his presence in the Eucharist.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. John Poncini