God feeds his people with manna and quail in the desert, and with the bread of life in and through Jesus. While the manna was only an earthly food that, if not eaten on the day, rotted and became useless, the bread that Jesus gives us is that which gives us life in eternity. Jesus is the bread of life.
Jesus feeds us, his disciples, through his revelation of the Father, his gift of faith and the Eucharistic bread. Jesus came to show us the Father, leading us into an intimate relationship with God the Father. In the passion narrative, on the cross, Jesus gives his mother Mary to the beloved disciple, representing each one of us, thus making us all his sisters and brothers, sons and daughters of God. Through Jesus we gain eternal life.
Speaking about Jesus as bread of life, the Servant of God Joseph De Piro says: “The wolf and the lamb come together; they are nourished with the same grass and quench their thirst from the same valleys. They join forces to work together and endeavour to befriend other animals anew. Similarly, different races of people come together; dark skinned people mix with lighter coloured ones; the uncouth with the gentle; the destitute with the virtuous; the disadvantaged with the wealthy; the old with the young. Without considering their diverse natures, they come together as one body, with one energy. They all participate in the same Eucharistic bread, which transforms them into one nature, one body, one blood, one soul, all under one Lord who wishes nothing else but unity, belief, justice and mercy.”
Furthermore, this Sunday’s gospel reading concludes with the words: “He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.” Where must we go to encounter the Lord?
Martin Cilia, in the book “Found Among Sinners,” says that the Servant of God believed in the God within:
The first characteristic is the shift in belief from a God who is above to a God that is within him. It is the realisation that God dwells in his heart and in his life and it is through these that God speaks to him.
It is for our sake that God can be found everywhere; He has not chosen a particular city or sanctuary, but one can find Him in every corner of the city, in the country, on the mountains, in the valleys. He wants to stay among those dear to Him.
The relational aspect of prayer is very clear:
“Prayer removes our distance and unites us with God. It is the noblest vocation; it gives us strength, comfort, joy and life. It is grace, indeed a source of grace.”
It calls one to go deeper in the room of the heart and meet God there, in secret:
Keep your soul always as the temple of God should be; and when you cannot do meditation, when the short time of your Communion has passed, do not get discouraged but shut yourselves for a moment with God inside your soul, and talk and pray with Him continuously.