May 5, 2022 –
Thursday of the Third Week of Easter
“… the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
Jesus first declares, “I am the Bread of Life.” Then He describes Himself as “the bread that comes down from Heaven so that one may eat it and not die.” Third, Jesus calls Himself “the living bread”. In all three of these statements, Jesus explains that He is not just nourishment. Jesus is a bread that offers a life stronger than death.
“Life” is what Jesus is as God, in His divine nature. “Bread” is what Jesus is for us, in His human nature. So it’s through Jesus’ human nature that He reveals His love for us, and allows us to share in His love.
This Bread, in other words, is for you, but not about you. Through the Bread of Life you grow in the likeness of the divine person of Jesus Christ. Through the Bread of Life you participate in divine life.
Then Jesus reveals this awesome Mystery even further. In the very last phrase of today’s Gospel passage, Jesus stakes the claim that makes or breaks His disciples: not just that He is bread, and not just that as bread He gives life that’s stronger than death.
Jesus declares: “the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.” Jesus is not just “bread”. He is not just “food for the hungry”. Jesus is not just bread that offers life. He is not just bread that strengthens you to survive death. Jesus is the divine Word made Flesh, and His Flesh is the bread that He “will give for the life of the world.”