The Bread of Life and the Life Within the Bread

Week of August 2, 2015

Jesus tells us to hunger and thirst for the bread that will last forever. At the Last Supper, the Passover meal, Jesus took an already spiritually charged meal and gave it a new covenant. Jesus says in the Gospel, “I am the Bread of Life”. This Bread of Life has the life of our Savior contained in it. When He tells of the Bread that is His body, it contains all of God’s goodness, all of His redemptive love. Into this Bread is the life of Jesus and within it are the words of forgiveness to the repentant thief. Within it are the words, “Little girl, get up”. Within it is the voice that tells the crippled man to get up and walk. Within this Bread we find the Jesus who tells the woman at the well that her sins are forgiven and who tells Peter, James and John to “Come and follow me”.

When we say the words, “Jesus is the Bread of Life”, we are challenged not to dismiss it or to feel like we have defined it. We are called to make our dwelling within it. These are powerfully charged words that change the world, words that cannot be totally defined, and should never be dismissed as just simple adjectives. Within this Bread is our life. So often we get familiar with terms and then our familiarity allows our minds and spirit to dull to them. We are no longer perceptive of what is contained within the words because we have grown comfortable with a definition of them. Jesus is the Bread of Life. We have heard the term many times, maybe even a thousand times. Something can sometimes wear off the more times we hear it if we are not careful. Today we are invited to reinvest in the life found within the bread. When we receive the Eucharist we receive Jesus in the totality of His life, in the totality of His divinity–the Son of God. We receive the totality of the Risen Lord who walked on the face of the earth. Within this Bread is the covenant of the Last Supper, within this Bread is the joy of a child being called Emmanuel, God with us. In this Bread is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. All of this is contained within this Bread.

As we say “Amen”, we are saying we believe in all of this. When we say “Amen” we are acknowledging what we are receiving. As we say “Amen” we are taking within ourselves the precious and holy Son of God. Bread cannot contain all that we receive and yet into this Bread, Jesus pours in His life. It is the ingredient that is divine. As we are given this Bread, every heart should be humbled and bow as each of us is invited to take in the gift of an all-powerful God.

This day, find the Life within the Bread and come to know the awesomeness of our God.

Rev. John J. Ouper