Friday, August 3, 2012

The Sunday Word

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
John 6:24-35

Prepare to hear the Word this coming Sunday! Ponder, pray and be persistent in your preparation.

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus said.

This past week we have been treated by so many culinary delights. Salads, chicken cutlets, string beans, blackberries, raspberries, and carrot cake. makes my mouth water. We have been blessed with home-made bread in various forms. Bread itself is not primarily a holiday food. While it has a place on a festive table, it’s also a basic staple of meals all year long. In fact, in the prayer Jesus taught us to pray, we’re told to ask, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

Typically we talk about bread in connection with Holy Communion. Jesus is the bread broken for us.

But is bread enough?

Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” So you’d think that he understands bread as the most basic, foundational, and perhaps only sustenance a person needs.

Or, perhaps he knew that bread is not the only food a person requires but is the necessary foundation for a nutritious menu.

Sports dietician, Nancy Clarke, says that “bread provides only the foundation for a healthy diet.” She implies that much more is needed in one’s diet than bread.

And Jesus, no sports dietician, once retorted to a famous tempter, “Man shall not live on bread alone.”

So there you have it. Yet, Jesus calls himself the bread of life. Do we need more in our lives besides Jesus?

Could Jesus be suggesting that while faith in him is the vital foundation for the spiritual life, a healthy spirituality needs some other ingredients as well?

Uh, well, yes.