God created us to need daily spiritual nourishment


Across time and cultures, bread remains central to the family meal. Christ identifies with bread in today’s gospel. The crowd had been pushing Him to give them a sign and they mentioned the manna in the desert. Christ stated, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.” This promise of Jesus addresses needs in us deeper even than our physical ones, and reminds us that we cannot live on bread alone. We have a right to material necessities, and an obligation to provide them for those who do not have them, but we would be deluding ourselves if we believed our or others’ hunger would be satisfied by this world’s goods alone.
The living bread faces stiff competition. A slang term for money is bread. To have no bread means you are broke. Nowadays, money appears as the power that sustains us. After all, with money we can buy almost anything. “You’ll find all your needs up on the shelves.” Even those who bake bread first go shopping. Most don’t look out their back window upon a field of grain. Our hands get dirty doing other things.

Similarly, God created us to need daily spiritual nourishment. Yet we don’t recognize the signs of our spiritual hunger as readily as physical hunger. Our spiritual recognition is dulled the further we move away from Jesus. For example, many Catholics skip Sunday Mass and feel no different afterwards. God fed the Israelites with daily manna. He wanted them to come to Him each day in faith for nourishment. Those who go to daily Mass regularly notice a difference when they aren’t able to go to Mass one day; they still come to Jesus that day in prayer and in His Word. Come to Jesus daily to be nourished. Then bring several anorexic people to Jesus.
A lifestyle of indulging in carnal desires results in losing our appetite for the things of God. The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; the two are directly opposed. The flesh will gradually put to death our desire for prayer, God’s Word, Holy Communion, and Christian community. Our lifestyle can make us spiritually anorexic. We starve to death spiritually, and starving people don’t have the strength to work.

As St Augustine said: ‘You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless till they rest in you.’ .Our appetite for God is insatiable: the goods of this world are not adequate to it. Only God Himself will suffice. God gives us the nourishment of the Eucharist—Christ Himself—for food and drink. Lord, be bread for my journey, and may others draw life from my communion with you.

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