Today's Gospel: John 6, 30-35
In my morning prayers today, I will ask God for the same things I asked for yesterday. I typically ask for ordinary things. However, when I pray for ordinary things, God does not always give me what I ask for, but often gives me something so much better. For example, when I discerned that my vocation was the married life, I asked God for a good Christian husband and he gave me a devoted Catholic husband who is deeply committed to his faith and family and who has many qualities that I admire, but did not even request.
Now, the people in this passage are asking Jesus for ordinary bread, and they think that he is speaking to them of a particular type of earthly bread that will benefit them physically and give them a better earthly life. However, God has something so much better in mind for them. The bread he is speaking to them is the Eucharist, His own Body and Blood, which will give them eternal life. It is the food which nourishes spiritually and fills us with abundant graces. It is the food which enriches us on our journey in this life and increases our virtue, while purging us of our vices.
The best part of all is that this bread transforms us – it changes us into love – to enable us to go out into the world and transform it. It empowers us, giving us the courage and the strength to spread the Good News. Jesus wants the benefits of the Eucharist to reach not only his faithful, but all his children. For, it is through the reception of His Body and Blood that we are granted extraordinary graces to go beyond the ordinary.
How have others fed you when you were spiritually hungry?
Dear Lord, I ask today that you will use me as a messenger to spread the Good News by my words and actions to those who do not know you. Help me to be bread for those who hunger for you.
Copyright 2016 Jean M. Heimann
Jean M. Heimann, M.A. in Theology, is a freelance writer, a psychologist, an educator, a parish and diocesan speaker, and is the author of Seven Saints for Seven Virtues and Learning to Love with the Saints. She has been an active blogger for twelve years at the award-winning blog, Catholic Fire.