Readings: Acts 7:51–8:1a; Psalm 31:3c–4, 6, 7b, 8a, 17, 21ab; John 6:30–35.
Whenever we receive Communion we hear “the Body of Christ” and respond “Amen” without thinking much about how incredible it is that we are receiving God into our hearts under the appearance of bread. Whenever we genuflect in front of a tabernacle and that little red lamp is glowing nearby we acknowledge our faith that Our Lord is sacramentally present in the Eucharist.
Imagine the crowds hearing the teaching of the Eucharist for the first time and trying to understand it before believing in it. In today’s Gospel Jesus, like in yesterday’s Gospel, is trying to move them from thinking of ordinary bread in their stomachs to thinking of the bread of life. They’re still asking for signs as proof. They want evidence, and when we consider the teaching of the Eucharist evidence does not get us very far.
Our Lord today is asking them to go from what they understand of bread and the thought of endless bread to what they are really looking for: eternal life, not just as living forever, but as living content forever. When we consider our needs and our expectations for God to help fulfill them we can never lose sight of our ultimate need, God, and the means God has given us to fulfill it: believing in his son and receiving him as the Bread of Life. Let’s try believing today even when understanding something God teaches us is challenging, knowing he seeks our ultimate well being.