This Sunday’s Gospel shows us that Jesus is the bread of life. He says “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”
So what is this bread?
In the Old Testament when Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt from slavery and they complained there was no food in the desert, God sent mana from the heavens every morning where they could gather a layer of powder on the ground which will appear overnight and they could make their bread with it.
In the previous Sunday’s reading, Jesus multiplied the bread for the five thousand men and fed them.
He then goes on this week to say further, that “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.”
In biblical language, the bread also signified benefits and favour to be obtained. And hence the people followed Him.
But He says clearly to us. “For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.”
So we are not to follow Jesus just because he can provide us miracles – like feeding us, or healing us, or helping us in some other way we seek. But the miracles he performed, are signs. They lead us to believe that He is the Son of God.
And He gave His life to us as a sacrifice, as the bread of life that we can partake in at every mass. So that we in turn, become bread for others.
To nourish our fellow men.