HIS WORDâ€¦ I AM THE BREAD OF LIFEâ€¦ I AM THE LIVING BREAD THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN; WHOEVER EATS THIS BREAD WILL LIVE FOREVER; AND THE BREAD THAT I WILL GIVE IS MY FLESH FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD.
my wordsâ€¦ Every Christmas we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ; and in history and even in the Christmas Carols, it is said that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and not in Nazareth where the couple Joseph and Mary had lived. Why in Bethlehem? First, it was occasioned by the demand of the Roman census that all citizens should be registered to the domicile of the father as demanded in a culture of patriarchy. Josephâ€™s lineage was from Bethlehem, and on that occasion, Mary had her due to deliver the child Jesus. Second, Jesus had to be born in Bethlehem because the name â€œBethlehemâ€ means â€œthe House of Breadâ€; hence, Jesus, who is the Bread of Life, should be born in the â€œHouse of Breadâ€. That was why, in last Sundayâ€™s 2nd episode of the Bread of Life Discourse in the gospel of John, Jesus proclaimed, â€œI am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirstâ€ (Jn 6:35).
In todayâ€™s 3rd episode of the Bread of Life Discourse, there was a growing misunderstanding by the people thinking how can Jesus be a â€œbread that came down from heavenâ€ (Jn 6:41), when in fact He is only the son of Joseph and they knew his father and mother (Jn 6:42)? In human parlance, they could not comprehend it and Jesus quoted the prophets: â€œThey shall be taught by Godâ€ (Jn 6:45). And the most scandalizing statement for the people to hear is when Jesus said, â€œI am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my FLESH for the life of the worldâ€ (Jn 6:51). Why scandalizing? It is because in their law and culture, to eat human flesh is CANNIBALISM; and therefore a sin against God and man.
Brothers and Sisters, again, we are more blest than the Jewish people for we have come to believe that the living flesh of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist would bring us to eternal life. He is indeed the food that gives life of the world. And through this food, the Body of Christ that we eat in the Holy Mass, instead of committing sin (as in Cannibalism), here our sins are cleansed and are forgiven with the contrite hearts and dispositions that we should have in the Mass. The Body of Christ, the Bread of Life, is indeed a food for the journey; a journey that will bring us to eternal life with Jesus and the Blessed Mother in the Kingdom of the Father.
MAY THE LIVING FLESH OF JESUS BRING US TO EVERLASTING LIFE IN HEAVENâ€¦ (ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot)