Dear Friends in Christ ,
Hunger and thirst tune the mind, don’t they? Have you ever experienced biting and painful hunger such that if you don’t eat you will literally drop? Our bodies have needs, and satisfying our hunger and thirst is fundamental to living. But the church has always taught we are more than just body; we are body and soul. But how is the soul satisfied?
The soul is fed supremely with the Eucharist. This is Jesus the Bread of Life the food for the journey, nourishing us and sustaining us in this life and the life to come. Every time we receive the Eucharist we know Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit. We cannot grow and mature in the Christian life unless we receive this bread of life. The Catechism expresses this wonderfully: ‘This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum.’
Spiritual hunger is harder to detect than spiritual hunger. But when we do detect it we become open to the prompting and leading of the Holy Spirit. It is truly a gift of the Holy Spirit to know when we are hungry or thirsty – for God, for his truth, for his love.
This Bread of Life Discourse in St. John’s Gospel gives the most wonderful insight into the gift of the Eucharist. Jesus is our life source, he is the meaning of our existence, He is the Bread of Life, sustaining and feeding us. The Eucharist is the key to understanding the mystery of Jesus Christ. What an incredible honour to be invited to the Table of the Lord each week!