The Bread of Life is the Bread of Our Life

August 5, 2018

The quote of the Gospel is very familiar to us.  Jesus is the Bread of Life.  To really examine this, we are invited to reflect on two aspects of the statement of faith and fact.  The first is what does Jesus mean by the word and definition of life?  The second is what do we mean by the word life when we use it?  If we are to say Jesus is the Bread of Life, He is inviting us to define our lives by His bread.  He can’t be the bread of life if we have no definition of life.  So how do we define life and its nourishment for us?  We can quickly decide that the Bread of Life is spiritual and everything is about the realm of the soul.  This is an easy move.  Yet, Jesus does not say He is the Bread of our Soul, He said “Life”.  So what does life mean?  What does it mean for us?  Some define life as a journey, some an adventure, while others say it is an experience.   To experience life is to be alive.  To be on the journey is to be alive.  To be on the adventure in time we are alive.  These are great starting points.  They allow us to know that if Jesus is the Bread of Life, and He is, then Jesus is a part of our journey, adventure and experience.  This means Jesus is ongoing as a part of our lives.  Bread too has lots of connotations.  When we break bread with someone, it usually means we share time, a table and a conversation far away from electronics.  All of this is the doorway to the sacred.  How do we define life?  How do we define a life well lived?   How do we define a life poorly lived?  No matter how we answer either of those questions, the definition of life is not dependent upon the outcome of the experience, the journey or the adventure.  That focuses us back to the populist quote that says life is a journey, not a destination.  This is true.

For Jesus to be the Bread of Life we must also enter into what Jesus means by life.  How did He define life?  He told us the Kingdom was one like a seed that grows, it changes.  He said to love your life you must lose it–it involves sacrifice.  He defined His life by the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.  So for us to have life in Him and to have His life within us, we are challenged to incorporate these values into the journey, adventure and the experience.  Life is a powerful word in His statement; it is the bridge that can define everything.  For us to crossover to His life we must stand for others, be there for others, and forgive others.  This invitation takes us to a new place.  Jesus longs to be the Bread of Life and most importantly the Bread of our Life.  To do this we must break this bread with Him.  This is most profoundly done in the Eucharist.  It is also found in adoration, our prayer life, and meditation.  This Breaking Bread is sitting with the Lord; it is enjoying the comfort of His love and His desire to spend time with us.  That is the powerful amazement of it all, the Son of God who died on the cross for us, longs to spend time with us.

Jesus is the Bread of Life; may He become the Bread of our Life too,

Reverend John J. Ouper