Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
(Acts 7:51-8:1a; John 6:30-35)
People crave bread. For the hungry bread is the simplest of dense food. Once made, it can be transported anywhere and eaten for instant satisfaction. For the better off, bread serves as a metaphor for money, that indispensable resource seemingly capable of providing every need. In today’s gospel Jesus uses bread as an image of his own spiritual endowment.
The Jews ask for a sign like the one their ancestors received when the Israelites ate manna in the desert. According to the Scriptures manna gave sustenance but was not very satisfying. At least, the people tired of it and complained to Moses that they wanted something more substantial. Now God the Father is supplying the people’s deeper needs with a much richer kind of food. Jesus names himself as the bread that comes down from heaven giving life to the world.
Jesus is calling us to believe in him. He wants us to accept him – his teaching, his example, the community he leaves behind – as our way of living. He promises that we will not be disappointed. Quite the contrary, we will find ourselves enjoying the fullness of life.