There is so much for us to reflect upon when we ponder the Bread of Life discourse, or what Jesus had to say about it. It’s not merely analogous to something else; it is the essence of our Catholic Christian faith. The gift of the Eucharist itself is a gift of complete and total love; God’s love for us, but one in which His Only Son left us not something else as a gift but His very self!
When we receive “communion”, we are brought ever closer to the Loving Father, Almighty God; Creator of Heaven and Earth and everything in it. We are also brought closer to one another for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways but in one very special way. The gift of the Bread of Life received within becomes not only a part of who we are, but who we are. This isn’t like any other kind of bread or sustenance we receive in this world, there’s nothing else to draw comparison. To this point this seems very theological and “beyond us” but it’s in the response to this mysterious gift that we find the point of deeper reflection. We are not going to totally comprehend the “Bread of Life” from a theological perspective, though bringing the theology to our prayer lives and reflection will always provide us new insights and ways of thinking. It’s in merely accepting by faith that the Bread of Life we receive becomes the Bread of Life we must seek to become for the world – for others.
Receiving food, albeit a lesser thing leads to other things in life. When we are fed, we have energy, we have life continued, we have stamina to do other things. The Bread of Life ought to offer us those things but we are the Bread of Life (Jesus Christ) for others. This is what He wanted, hopes for us and expects. We are nourished this way, so that we can be the “nourishers”, the providers of nourishment for others. This is what we must ponder when we prepare ourselves to receive communion. We must see the door of our church or chapel as it opens out on the world and when we hear “Go forth, the Mass is ended”, the sacred moment which leads to a sanctified day or week just begins.
That’s how beautiful, powerful, important and purposeful the Holy Eucharist ought to be. Any of us can fall into the trap of just “going through the motions” from time to time, but if you’re reading this reflection today, my hope (for you and for me) is that apply this deeply to our lives. May God bless you.