Do not work for the food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life. Everyone one of you, in one way of another, has to work, sometimes at two jobs, to put bread on the table; you have to provide for your families. Jesus tells us to work for the food that endures forever. We don’t really have to work that such a bread, it is freely and generous given to us in this Eucharist and at every Eucharist. Just as God gave the manna, bread from heaven, to the complaining people he was sustaining in the desert, so Jesus gives us the new manna, his body and blood at this Mass and at every Mass.
Jesus Christ is the manna of God, the living bread come down from heaven. Jesus makes us this promise,’ whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
We all hunger after our own flesh pots. It’s natural. We always want more and more. The more have the more we want but none of the things we want can never replace a loving and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the nourishment of our lives.
There was a song out years ago and the words went,’ flowers, perfume candy but you, you never gave me you, you never gave the greatest gift of all, you never gave me you. So many relationships end because flowers, perfume and candy – all the goodies we think to be so important, can never replace the greatest gift the gift of ourselves to each other. So relationships and marriages end in bitterness and disappointments because we fail to give the greatest gift, ourselves.
We are what we eat; physically we become what we consume. Jesus gives himself totally to us in the Eucharist with the promise that those who eat his flesh and drink his blood, as we do at this Eucharist, will live in him and he will live in us. The Christ living in us helps us live Christ-like lives. Christ helps us to be a loving and forgiving person. He helps us to avoid being judgemental people who judge the motives of others. He helps us be accepting men and women, open people who accept others as they are, who they are. Jesus, our bread of life, helps us to be forgiving people, people willing to let go of past hurts, past injustices. Christ who loved each one of us even unto his death on the cross, helps us be generous men and women who are willing to be there for friends and strangers who need our help. Finally it is good to remember that Jesus, our living bread come down from heaven, is the only one who can satisfy our deepest hunger, our hunger to know what our life means and how we are to live it. At this Mass we gratefully accept Chris’s gracious invitation – come, take and eat, take and drink.