Reflection: “Bread of Life for the World”
This reading can be summed up in a simple phrase, It is all About Jesus! I believe it is through the eyes of faith, we come to know the Real Jesus.
The reading is addressed to the whole church and is probably a traveling letter, meaning the letter was hand carried from one group of new Christians to another, until it was read in every church. It continues to have meaning when read in churches today.
Paul began this letter as he began most letters: offering spiritual blessings, praising God and reminding us of God’s love for us. He then offers thanksgiving and prayer. In the spirit of Paul’s words I speak with you tonight.
I witness your faith and I have not stopped giving thanks for you. I ask the God of Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so, we may know Jesus better.
Paul asked the Spirit to reveal to us, who Jesus is. His prayer is, we will know Jesus better and by accepting the gifts of wisdom and revelation, the eyes of our hearts will be enlightened. And, enlightened we will know the Hope, to which God has called us.
Jesus is the Hope of whom Paul speaks. Only when the eyes of our hearts are enlightened by the Spirit, will we see through the eyes of faith, Jesus is the Hope, to which God calls us. It is our faith in Jesus, which allows us to see Him as Hope and without Faith we will never know Hope!
Holding on to hope is holding on to Jesus. When we see Jesus through the eyes of our hearts, we are responding to the presence of Holy Spirit working within us. We have the wisdom, revelation and power from the Holy Spirit to hold tight to Jesus, who promised, “I am the bread of life, for the world.”
Because God the Father loves each of us with an uncompromising love, He sent His Son Jesus to suffer, die and rise from the dead. Through the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus we are the recipients of His everlasting presence, which is Bread for the world.
We have through the Holy Spirit the same Power, which was present to Jesus as His source of strength for His life, His crucifixion and His resurrection.
Jesus as the head of the church sits at the right hand of the Father; all rule, authority, power and dominion rests in Him. We have no reason to fear, for God placed all things under His feet, and appointed Jesus as the head of the Church. There is nothing He cannot do for all who believe His promise, “I am, Bread for the world.”
Later in this letter, Paul prays we will be rooted and established in love, so we may have power together with the saints, to grasp, how wide and long and high and deep, is the love of Christ. Paul prays for us to know a love, which surpasses all knowledge, and in the knowledge of this love, Paul prays we will be filled by the Fullness of God.
Through the eyes of our hearts we will come to know Jesus as the Fullness of God, for which Paul prayed. Jesus is the Fullness Who fills everything in every way.
This same Jesus said, “… it is the Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. The Bread of God is He who comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” Jesus refers to Himself as Bread from Heaven, which gives life to the world.
“The manna of the desert, for which Moses prayed; the Manna in the desert, which could spoil, is not the form of bread, of which Jesus spoke when He promised, “I am the Bread of life, which came to save the world.” Jesus gave himself as Bread for the world that we might feed upon the Power, the Hope and Fullness, to which God calls us.
This is the Jesus we hold in our hands each time we reach out and accept of the Body and Blood of Jesus. The Hope, the Fullness, the Power of God rests in us in this Eucharist.
“The work of God is this: to believe the One He sent.” Our hope lies in this truth and with the eyes of faith we can believe- because it is all about Jesus- who is the Bread of life for the world!
You shared an excellent word! Bread doesn’t just come in rectangle loaves, but in circles, and in fancy wrappers, or even none at all. The important thing though is not it’s size or shape, just the ingredients and the taste. Bread is the foundation of the food pyramid (remember, the five food groups?) So when Jesus said He was the bread of life, He tried to get people to see how important He is to their spiritual welfare. When we invite people to think about Jesus, we invite them to the source of spiritual food that can satisfy them now and for all time.