The Bread of Life Eternal
Reflection on the Gospel of the Wednesday In The Third Week Of Easter
One great theme of the New Testament is – Hodas, meaning the Way. Understood correctly in the sense of the New Testament it means the New Exodus. The Early Christians were so known (The People of the Way) by this term, because they believed that they were part of the New Exodus Jesus had initiated through His death on the Cross, from Spiritual Exile to proceed into the presence of God. St. Stephen’s Martyrdom, where he witnesses God come to greet Him, helps us understand this theme.
In the Old Testament, Israel’s foray in the desert was never meant to be a punishment, because of their unbelief. It was a Father trying to help His children, understand Him, through His personal interaction with them. And many are the marvels that the Israelites witnessed first-hand in the desert, and one of these is how God fed them throughout their travels from Egypt to the Promised Land, with Manna.
In today’s Gospel Jesus is the New Manna, and we are in the New Exodus, being perfected by God, as he takes us to His Presence. Now we see, understand and partake of Jesus, but when we are fully in the presence of the Trinity we will be fully united with God. Jesus is explicit; “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.” We need to hold to the understanding we were given about Jesus – He is Our Bread of Life, even as we feed on Him daily in the Eucharist and Live. May we grow into a very close intimacy with Him as we journey this New Exodus. The Israelites failed to understand the intimacy that God wanted to share with them in the desert, may we find that intimacy, which he makes available to us, sit at his table and partake of Him.