Jesus is the true bread of life

James Tissot, 1836-1902 The Exhortation to the Apostles

The food that perishes and that which gives eternal life

In the synagogue in Capernaum Jesus identified the faith in him, who had been sent by the Father, as the work that God wanted from all men. But the Galilean crowd thought his miracles were insufficient to justify such a faith. They demanded a miracle at least equal to that of the manna that Moses had caused to fall from heaven.
No, Jesus corrected them. It was not Moses but God who sent the Israelites the manna they ate. And it was also God who presented his envoy to all men in order to satisfy their aspirations for eternal life. And Jesus is the true bread of life. And Jesus is the true bread of life. And he who does not believe in him is guilty because, in the Messianic Era, to believe it sufficed to be attracted by the grace of God.
Then came the reference to the Eucharist, to his flesh that will be offered in sacrifice for humanity. He who receives this true sustenance will receive eternal life from the one whom the Father has established to be the giver of life.
Many of the disciples found this discourse to be mysterious and difficult to accept. However, the Cross and the consequent glorification of the Crucified One was to show that the Eucharist, in the same manner as the prophetic words of the Spirit, is truly able to give life.
Not a few of his disciples, the Evangelist tells us, abandoned Jesus. But Peter, in the name of the Apostles, reaffirmed his belief in him as the Messiah whom God had sent and consecrated and whose words transmitted eternal life to whoever accepted them.

M. Adinolfi – G. B. Buzzone, Viaggio del cuore in Terra Santa, Casale Monferrato 2000, pp. 56-57.


Liturgical Tradition

The True Bread of Life