Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This verse is making a statement that is either deeply spiritual or nonsensical. Why? We know of no one who has been living for more than 150 years in a physical state and seem to be living on forever. So, what is Jesus saying? Notice that he himself referred to the strangeness of the statement he was about to make in reference to living forever. “Your fathers ate manna in the desert and they are dead.” Remember that that manna came from heaven and yet they are dead. He then said. “But anyone who eats this bread will live forever.” He must definitely want us to accept this challenge because he goes on to explain carefully what that bread is. “The bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world’” And so today we are being called upon to recognize that we are not eating ordinary bread when we receive the Body of Christ. We are eating that Bread from heaven which is Jesus himself.
It isn’t that we don’t believe it somewhat. It’s that our minds find it illogical, as did the Jews. How can a man become bread from heaven? Jesus does not tell us how he is the bread of life, but he tells us that he is the bread come down from heaven to us so that we may eat him and not die but live eternally, i.e. live beyond our physical death.
Our response? Believe in this profound gift of the Bread of Life, receive him gratefully and live with him forever!
Fr. Clement Paul