I am the Bread of Life (part two)
“This man from the backwoods of Galilee is telling us that he came down from Heaven?!” You can almost hear the mocking tone in the voices of the Jews in verses 41 and 42 challenging such a claim from Jesus, the son of their very human friends, Mary and Joseph. And yet, most of the Jews who had gathered there in Capernaum had just the day before witnessed His miracle of feeding the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish. They surely literally hungered after more of the same miracles. Instead of losing His temper, or calling down more manna, fish, or bread, Jesus boldly declares: “I am the Bread of Life . . . If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever.” He offers the greatest news of all – He has come to usher in Eternity for those who place their full trust in Him.
In this passage, Jesus establishes the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist by saying: “I am the Bread of Life.” As I approach the altar each Sunday at St. Peter’s, I concentrate upon the Crucifix and am reminded of the flesh that was pierced and blood that was shed for me, an undeserving sinner brought forth from death. I find both my doubts and selfish petitions quickly fading away in this moment of worship each week. Upon receiving the elements, I am able to lift my eyes boldly and gaze upon Christ the King. He stands with the world in the palm of His hand, reminding me of His promise, “Take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Stepping out in Lent - This Lent, let us remember that Jesus is the life-giving Bread that offers God’s grace made visible within each one of us through His nourishment, sustenance, and never-ending love.
Author – Bill Kritzner is a proud husband to Kristen and the father of three girls. He has experienced God deeply in international mission work and currently serves as the President of the Board of Servants for A*rise Ministry in Gretna, Florida. He attends the Trinity School for Ministry and works with the St. Peter’s men’s ministry and parish discipleship formation.