martes, 11 de agosto de 2015

Our Daily Bread: JESUS

by: Br. Azam Mansha [cjm]

The greatest slogan of many leaders in the past, present and future is to provide Bread, Clothes and shelter. These are the basic needs of any human being. We can see that many political parties established their manifesto around these basic needs. They motivated people to support their ideology and in return they will provide bread, clothes and shelter to them.

We do need bread, clothes and shelter and everyone is working to meet his/her basic needs. If we categorize these needs, BREAD is on the top of the list. That is why Satan used his first weapon against the hunger of Jesus, if you are the Son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves.[1] Satan knows that human beings need bread to live and they are weak when it comes to bread.

In today’s Gospel we have heard about two types of bread. A bread of the world, which is necessary for nourishment for the human body and The Bread from Heaven which is essential for the purification of our soul.

In life, when we are in despair or in trouble to win the daily bread, our attitude becomes like that of Prophet Elijah as we have heard in the first reading. We start questioning God and seek death. God who is full of life gives life to Prophet Elijah in the shape of bread. God knows that human beings need bread to live. That is why Jesus offers Himself to the world as the Living Bread who gives life and life in abundance.[2]

Jesus tells us that bread of the world cannot give us everlasting life, “Though your ancestors ate the manna in the desert they died.” He invites us to participate in the Bread of Heaven where we can possess eternal life: “here you have the bread which comes from heaven so that you may eat of it and not die.” Jesus did not promise to provide the bread but he becomes our daily bread.

Jesus is the New Manna and His promise is: “I am the living bread which has come from heaven; whoever eats of this bread will live forever.”[3] Jesus becomes the Divine gift to us in the Eucharist so that we can be a gift of bread to our brothers and sisters. In order to be bread for others; lets first experience the Divine Flesh of Jesus in the Eucharist. We cannot give what we don’t have therefore we cannot be a bread for others unless we receive and experience the Bread from the Altar.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta who is known for her charitable work and Fr.Henry Jozef Machiel Nouwen who is one of the greatest spiritual writers of modern times shares their experiences to be the bread for others. Fr. Henry writes,

“I still remember Mother Teresa once saying to me that you can’t see Jesus in the poor unless you can see him in the Eucharist. At the time, the remark seemed to me a bit high-flying and pious, but now that I’ve spent a year living with handicapped people, I’m beginning to understand better what she meant. It isn’t really possible to see Jesus in human beings if you can’t see him in the hidden reality of the bread that comes down from heaven…it’s only when you’ve learned from personal experience how much Jesus cares for you and how much he desires to be your daily food, that you can learn to see that every human heart is a dwelling place for Jesus… Heart speaks to heart. Jesus in our heart speaks to Jesus in the hearts of our fellow men and women.[4]”

Let us joyfully participate in the Liturgy of the Eucharist and receive the Heavenly Bread. May Jesus in the Holy Eucharist help us to be the bread for others.

[1] Mt. 4: 3.
[2] Jn. 10:10
[3] Jn. 6: 51
[4] Nouwen, H. (2004). The only Necessary Thing: Living a prayer life. Manila: Claretian Pub (pp. 177-178)

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