“Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, (John 6)
“…be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth. (Ephesians 4)
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” (John 6)
“Bread for the world A world of hunger Wine for all peoples People who thirst May we who eat Be bread for others May we who drink Pour out our love…” (Bread for the World: Bernadette Farrell)
What strikes me this week as I meditate on these scriptures for Sunday is Jesus’ response to those following him after the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. “Do not work for food that perishes…” I hear Jesus speaking to those people and our world today, “Don’t get so caught up in yourself and your ego. Focus on something eternally more important.”
We live in the midst of so many distractions – technological, political, relational, personal. We get so caught up in the noise that we forget to listen to what Jesus tells and shows us each time we hear God’s Word and partake of Jesus’ Body and Blood.
We want the “bread” of this world. We keep wanting it with an insatiable hunger that we totally forget about that “Bread” which will always keep us satiated and strengthened to live in this world being “bread” for others.
St. John Paul II tells us that “the celebration of the Eucharist is a missionary event.” We empty ourselves of our selfishness and fill up on the selfless love of Jesus Christ each time we come to the table. With that nourishment we can go out and “glorify the Lord with our lives, our words, and acts of selfless love.” St. John Paul II also reminds us that the Eucharist is also a permanent school for charity, justice and peace, for renewing the surrounding world in Christ. From the presence of the Risen One, believers draw the courage to be artisans of solidarity and renewal–committed to transforming the structures of sin in which individuals, communities and at times entire peoples are entangled. (cf. Dies Domini 73)
This world needs what we have to offer from Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life. The world needs more selfless unconditional love, kindness, respect, understanding and peace for every person regardless of color, economic position, political viewpoint, orientation or nationality. Let us be that Bread to the World. Why? Not out of selfish ambition (food that perishes) but because the love of Christ, the Bread of Life, compels us.
Let us be bread and wine, love and peace to our hurt, broken world…