For three Sundays in a row now our Gospel passage is taken from the 6th Chapter of St John’s on the discourse on the ‘Bread of Life’. As we move further into this chapter, the Eucharistic overtones grow stronger. In this Sunday’s passage, the people (John 6:41-51) questioned Our Lord of His heavenly origins since He claims to be the ‘Living Bread come down from heaven’. John uses the occasion to give us some ideas about faith; Faith is a gift of the Heavenly Father and comes only from Him, and it leads to eternal life. The faith in question here is obviously faith in Jesus, and the passage concludes with the thought that the eternal life offered, comes through Jesus’ giving of Himself – ‘his flesh, for the life of the world’. The Early Church Fathers wrote aplenty about the Eucharist which I have published on last two week in the Bulletin (and hopefully more in the future). Here is another beautiful one by a 5th century saint, St Peter Chrysologus (406-450 A.D); “The Father in heaven urges us, as children of heaven, to ask for the bread of heaven. [Christ] himself is the bread who, sown in the Virgin, raised up in the flesh, kneaded in the Passion, baked in the oven of the tomb, reserved in churches, brought to altars, furnishes the faithful each day with food from heaven”.
May we lead all to discover the true Bread of Life. Fr Michael