When the Jewish people, led by Moses, made their trek through the desert, to what they called “the promised land”, they became disillusioned, distraught, disenchanted, lost and hopeless. After their trek they told a story about God’s intervention. They said that “God sent them manna from heaven”. The word “manna” means “bread”. Hence, for the ancient Jewish people bread was a metaphor for God’s intervention in their lives.
It seems clear that the symbolism of “bread” was very familiar to the people of Jesus’ time. It became, therefore, a metaphor that Jesus used to explain that God was once again intervening in their lives. Hence, he describes himself as the “Bread of Life” – He says in the fourth Gospel that we read today: “I am the Bread of Life!”.
Elsewhere in the Gospel’s, when the disciples ask Jesus how to pray, he tells them to say the Lord’s Prayer and say this to God: “Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be they name. The kingdom come. Thy will be done. Give us this day our daily BREAD”……. Receiving “Bread” from God is the gift of faith, hope and love. It is the gift that ensures that we will not be disillusioned, distraught, disenchanted, lost or hopeless.
The clear message today is that Jesus Himself is our “daily bread”. Our belief in Him as the Son of God is the gift that guarantees that our lives will brim over with faith, hope and love.
Maybe a good commitment to make today is to say the Lord’s Prayer often, especially when things seem a bit hopeless. It is the prayer that is always answered and fills us with a new sense of faith, hope and love. It is the prayer that is worth saying, even very privately, as often as we can.