April 21, 2021, Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
Scripture: John 6:35-40
Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.’
Meditation “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life.”
Recently I received a feed on the opening page of my Google internet browser about a cookbook by Sam Sifton, the food editor of the New York Times. The book is called See You on Sunday. The cookbook is dedicated to the simple act of gathering around a table with loved ones and eating together on a regular enough basis that people know and can depend on the meal happening. Sifton talks about how the fellowship at the table creates “life satisfaction,” a term social scientists use to capture a person’s overall happiness and well-being. In Sifton’s words, “This satisfaction doesn’t come from the first meal, or the fifth or the twentieth, but from the actual effort itself, from the accrual of experience in cooking the meal and sharing it.”
An integral part of our faith is the sacrament of the Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper,” a chance to eat and drink at God’s table. In doing this we are fortified by the divine substance of God’s love, especially when we partake on a regular basis. Today’s Gospel is a reminder, much like Sifton’s cookbook, of the power of participating in the feast God has set forth for us. Jesus is the bread of life, our spiritual food and all of us are welcome at the table. And the more we partake in the nourishment that God’s grace and love provides the more satisfied we will become.
As we work through our busy day and week let’s keep remembering to take a seat at the table God has set for us. Let’s also find a place at the banquet for those who might have differing viewpoints or are sad and lonely. Let’s recognize that Jesus’s birth, death, and resurrection are a gift that should be shared on a large platter. Let’s keep accruing the sustenance that comes from a rich relationship with God.
Lord, we thank you for giving to us yourself as the Bread of Life. May we let the mystery of this great reality be the background of our consciousness today as we go about our daily tasks and in our interactions with others, and especially as we may have opportunity to break bread together. May we find “life satisfaction” in it. Amen.
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry.”