The Bread of Life
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” - John 6:35
We are in the midst of several weeks of readings from John 6 during Sunday liturgies. Here we have the story of the feeding of the multitudes and the Bread of Life discourse. What a great opportunity to reflect upon the gift of the Eucharist.
The Catechism reminds us of the clear teaching of Vatican II that "the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life." (Lumen Gentium 11, CCC 1324) It is in the Eucharist that we both recieve the grace to live out the Christian faith and clearly see the perfect fruit and purpose of that faith: union with God. It is in the Eucharist that our souls are fed and strengthened to endure the trials that come our way.
Through the Eucharist we become one Body in Christ. St. Augustine spoke of how it takes many grains of wheat being crushed, mixed with water and baked together to make one loaf of bread; and in the same way we are many different grains of wheat brought together and "crushed" through humility, "moistened" through the water of baptism and baked in the fire of the Holy Spirit to become one body, one bread.