December 19, 2018

CHRIST the BREAD: “Lord, give us this bread always” (Jn 6:34). I recall hearing of an old Jewish lady, a survivor of the Holocaust, who lived with her son in a Manhattan mansion. In spite of lavish surroundings, she always checked the kitchen before she went to bed. Due to the searing memories of her impoverishment during the war years, she couldn’t rest until she was sure there was a full loaf of bread in the pantry. But for those who hungered long for the living bread, we can rest easy! Christ is not only the Bread from heaven (Jn 6:32, 41, 50), in fact the Bread of God (Jn 6:33), He is living Bread (Jn 6:51), and, in contrast to the manna which could only sustain the Israelites’ lives in the wilderness, He is the Bread of life (Jn 6:35)—life-giving Bread. When He introduces Himself as the true Bread (Jn 6:32, 35), He is not saying that manna was false. Rather that He is the Bread of which the manna spoke: small in humility, round in perfection, white in purity, and sweet in experience.