Friday of the 3rd Week of Eastertide
“This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live forever”
“The bread had a crunch to the crust that brought so many good memories, and the crumb was that wholesome taste of rustic grain. In that moment of flavor, I heard my grandmother’s voice; I heard how she spoke, as if each word contained a spoon of love and laughter. Perhaps that’s why we call such food ‘hearty’, because it is made with such heart.” – Angela Abraham, @ daisydescriptionari, May 3, 2019
‘Hearty’ and heart-warming indeed – that’s bread to me. I remember growing up loving to read stories from the book ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’. Lots of feel-good emotions would emerge. Read good and felt good.
But the bread, like those heart-warming stories, was just that – feel good, and for the moment. Do they stay within our being? For me, they didn’t. These feelings eventually departed and I went through life and merely existed.
I remember attending a silent retreat, at what must have been one of the lowest points in my life. It seemed like everything was wrong – that no one really understood me, my actions or my decisions. I remember breaking down several times during the retreat.
I had a session with the Spiritual Director of the retreat. He asked me to read the whole of John 6, from the feeding of the five thousand, right down to Jesus – where He worked to sustain life in the present world, to this passage on ‘everlasting bread’.
It led me to look beyond the immediate situations that I was in. To ask myself if I was constantly relating my experiences and my life toward Our Heavenly Father’s teachings and look toward making that journey toward eternal life, instead of merely existing in this life. After all, eternal life comes not from an unending supply of food, but from living the Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Yes, I still have my daily struggles in life and at work. But over the years since that retreat, I have come to regard these as just markers in the journey toward eternal life. These are only but immediate needs and wants – the next paycheck, the next material acquisition.
Rather, my belief needs to constantly remind myself to include faithful action. To follow Jesus by doing the good work, praying and sanctifying my work and struggles to God.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Gerard Francis)
Prayer: We pray to continually keep in mind that our earthly desires are all markers we achieve, but to constantly keep in mind the ultimate destination.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the gift of His promises for us. May we always hold the ultimate destination close to our hearts.