Happy second monday of Easter time. I love spring, but this layer of yellow pollen every morning is becoming obnoxious. Maybe I’ll try thinking of it as “Manna” from heaven.
Today’s reflection is about Jesus being the “Bread of Life!”
Quote or Joke of the Day:
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. ~ Unknown
So they said to him, “What sign can you [Jesus] do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. (NAB John 6:30-35)
I picture Jesus standing there, looking at these people, and saying, “YO, Listen to me! This is important!” And then continuing, “It was not Moses that gave them manna, but my Father in heaven! AND, He not only GAVE them the bread needed for life, but He is still GIVING you life today, through me!” The true bread from heaven is not a food, but the one who comes to give life to the world. Jesus finished his stern, yet loving message by saying, “I AM the bread of life; I will relieve you of your [spiritual] hunger and thirst.”
Believing in Jesus is all we need for a spiritual existence. To believe in Jesus, and His teachings, automatically allow us to believe in the Holy Trinity, and the continuation of Jesus’ teachings through the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
Through these verses, the people of Jesus’ time have shifted from the Old Testament notion of ‘bread from heaven’ with the desert dwellers of Moses; to the ‘bread of God’ up through Jesus’ birth, ministry, and death; and finally to the ‘bread of life’ with the resurrected and glorified Jesus, in all His majesty.
The Jewish people had their minds set that the manna, thought to have been hidden by Jeremiah (see 2 Macc 2:5-8), was expected to reappear miraculously at Passover, in the last days. The “manna” was present at this last Passover, but it was not a white fluffy item that fell from the sky. It was a thirty-three year-old man, who was hauled up into the sky on a wooden cross, and died a horrendous death for our sins.
The “bread of life” is a figure, a symbol, for God’s revelation in Jesus. With Jesus’ last Passover meal, His death, and His resurrection, a Eucharistic theme comes to the forefront. We celebrate the “bread of life” at Mass on a daily basis. Roman Catholics are the only religion that celebrates this TRUE miracle daily. Jesus truly lives in the Eucharist. To me, having Jesus with me, for even that short period the host exists in me physically is amazing, as it brings me just a little closer to the one we all should love more than anyone else: our Lord, Jesus Christ.
“Our Father who lives in heaven and in the Eucharist; hallowed is your name. Your will is alive in me, and I will do anything you ask. I live for your daily ‘bread of life;’ please live in me always. Also, forgive me for any transgressions I have committed, as I wish to be a pure and worthy vessel for you. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Catholic Saint of the Day: Pope Saint Martin I
Martin I lay too sick to fight on a couch in front of the altar when the soldiers burst into the Lateran basilica. He had come to the church when he heard the soldiers had landed. But the thought of kidnapping a sick pope from the house of God didn’t stop the soldiers from grabbing him and hustling him down to their ship.
Elected pope in 649, Martin I had gotten in trouble for refusing to condone silence in the face of wrong. At that time there existed a popular heresy that held that Christ didn’t have a human will, only a divine will. The emperor had issued an edict that didn’t support Monothelism (as it was known) directly, but simply commanded that no one could discuss Jesus’ will at all.
Monothelism was condemned at a council convened by Martin I. The council affirmed, once again, that since Jesus had two natures, human and divine, he had two wills, human and divine. The council then went further and condemned Constans edict to avoid discussion stating, “The Lord commanded us to shun evil and do good, but not to reject the good with the evil.”
In his anger at this slap in the face, the emperor sent his soldiers to Rome to bring the pope to him. When Martin I arrived in Constantinople after a long voyage he was immediately put into prison. There he spent three months in a filthy, freezing cell while he suffered from dysentery. He was not allowed to wash and given the most disgusting food. After he was condemned for treason without being allowed to speak in his defense he was imprisoned for another three months.
From there he was exiled to the Crimea where he suffered from the famine of the land as well as the roughness of the land and its people. But hardest to take was the fact that the pope found himself friendless. His letters tell how his own church had deserted him and his friends had forgotten him. They wouldn’t even send him oil or corn to live off of.
He died two years later in exile in the year 656, a martyr who stood up for the right of the Church to establish doctrine even in the face of imperial power. His feast day is April 13th.
(From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #13:
As the Father sees in every person the features of his Son, the firstborn of many brothers and sisters, so the Secular Franciscans with a gentle and courteous spirit accept all people as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ.
A sense of community will make them joyful and ready to place themselves on an equal basis with all people, especially with the lowly for whom they shall strive to create conditions of life worthy of people redeemed by Christ.