If we really understand the Eucharist, if we really center our lives on Jesus’ Body and Blood, if we nourish our lives with the Bread of the Eucharist, it will be easy for us to see Christ in that hungry one next door, the one lying in the gutter, the alcoholic man we shun, our husband or our wife, or our restless child. For in them, we will recognize the distressing disguises of the poor: Jesus in our midst.-Mother Teresa of Calcutta
(Gospel text: Jn 6:41-51)
The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said,
"I am the bread that came down from heaven,"
and they said,
"Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph?
Do we not know his father and mother?
Then how can he say,
'I have come down from heaven?'"
Jesus answered and said to them,
"Stop murmuring among yourselves.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
Let’s face it. We all murmur and grumble. It’s one of the most popular ways we humans have come up with for expressing our disagreement or displeasure over something.
In today’s Gospel reading the people couldn’t believe that Jesus had the power to bring them spiritual salvation. They had just feasted on an overabundance of bread and fish that Jesus miraculously provided, but this sign simply was not enough to convince them that he was something special.
This passage shows us how easy it is to doubt God when he says something hard to accept no matter how many other miracles we have seen in our lives. And when we grumble, we risk missing out on what He is prepared to do for us today. We are so busy building arguments against God that we don’t have any time to build an argument for him.
Jesus is the Bread of Life, and he wants to feed us with his grace today. He wants to show himself to us so that we never have a reason to grumble or doubt him. So receive him in faith today. Be like Mary, who willingly accepted God’s plan for her to bear the Son of God. Or be like Peter, who, despite the grumbling around him, told Jesus: “You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69).