Tuesday, April 21 ~ Third Week in the Season of Easter
Saint Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Holy Gospel: John 6:30-35 The crowd said to Jesus: “What sign can you 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 Jesus, “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.”
Meditation: Do you have a true and genuine hunger for the bread of life? The Jewish people had always regarded the manna in the wilderness as the bread of God (Psalm 78:24, Exodus 16:15). There was a strong Rabbinic belief that when the Messiah came he would give manna from heaven. This was the supreme work of Moses. Now the Jewish leaders were demanding that Jesus produce manna from heaven as proof to his claim to be the Messiah. Jesus responds by telling them that it was not Moses who gave the manna, but God. And the manna given to Moses and the people was not the real bread from heaven, but only a symbol of the bread to come. Jesus then makes the claim which only God can make: I am the bread of life. The bread which Jesus offers is none else than the very life of God. This is the one true bread which can truly satisfy the hunger in our hearts. So the question becomes for each of us: Do you hunger for God and for the food which produces everlasting life?
Prayer: O God, who led the Bishop Saint Anselm to seek out and teach the depths of your wisdom, grant, we pray, that our faith in you may so aid our understanding, that what we believe by your command may give delight to our hearts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: Have you tasted the bread of life? Have you come to Jesus? Or are you trying to cram other things in your life, instead of the only thing that will give you meaning, direction – life itself?! So what do you have to do to receive this great treasure – this “pearl of great price” we hear in scripture – this living bread? You have to sell all you have; your desires to go your own way instead of God’s way; your desire to have power or fame. You have to put everything else behind God and seek Him and his righteousness first and all else will be given to you. This is never easy, and it will cost you a great deal. But what you get in return will be worth the price. So, seize this opportunity – taste the bread that Jesus offers!