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April 30th: Bread for the Living

I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.

John 6:44-51

“We need real food, bread and anything!”, “What! No bread? Bread is life!”  Exclamations from members of a Trinidad and Tobago 2002 World Youth Day contingent as we were served a breakfast of basically fruits, raw vegetables, crackers, cereal bars, and nuts, on arrival to Quebec, an excruciating seventeen hours after our departure. The deep pangs of hunger could not have been satisfied in the absence of bread or a semblance thereof.

In today’s Gospel passage Jesus is again established as “bread”, “living bread”. He is the basis of our lives, nourishment, and our sustenance. However, unlike other food which becomes part of us, Jesus is the sacred bread that makes us more like him. Consequently, in these dreadfully depressing times for so very many, we are each called amidst our own needs, to be “bread for the living” to the Body of Christ, to our brothers and sisters who are in dire need of sustenance. How are we being the bread of life, life giving sustenance?