Do we accept that God can do anything?
Jesus once fed 5,000 men with just five loaves of bread. That got their attention. The next day folks went out looking for him. More free miracle bread, please. And you’d make a great king. But then Jesus started talking strangely.
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)
That was hard to swallow. “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?” (John 6:52)
Right away you see what their problem was. They did not realize that Jesus was God.
“Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” (John 6:42)
They did not believe that he was God, but we do. We know that God can do anything. Nothing is too hard for God. Multiplying regular bread is not hard; giving us his body to eat is not hard.
So, the question is not “How?” It is “Why?”
Imagine back at the beginning of life on this earth. Now go back before that. What is going
on? Nonlife? No, God. He is the source of all life. He never had a beginning.
I remember being in fourth grade when I realized that it had to be that way. My older brother and I were riding the bus to school. We were saying that people have parents, and they have parents, and they have parents, and back it goes. It is the same with every living thing. But you can’t go back and back and back forever. Something had to be
first. It had to always be, not start being. It had to be alive, but more than alive. It had to be the source of its own life.
Ancient pagan philosophers knew that. Even today, scientists who study the world from the smallest cell to the vastest galaxy cannot answer where all this life came from in the first place. Some have proposed that it came from the backs of crystals or possibly other planets. But where did the backs of crystals get it? And how about the other planets? You see? Something, someone, had to be the source of its own life.
Jesus was and is that person. God made us and blew into us “the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7) because he loved us. He loved us so much he didn’t stop at just giving us life in this world. Jesus told the followers who wanted free miracle bread, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.” (John 6:27)
Just as he was and is the source of our earthly life in which we eat regular bread to stay alive, he was and is the source of our eternal life in which we eat heavenly bread to stay alive.
“Take and eat; this is my body.” (Matthew 26:26)
People have long questioned whether Jesus was speaking symbolically. His answer? “My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” (John 6:55)
At that, many walked away. And Jesus let them. He did not call them back over and explain
that he only meant it symbolically. They understood; they just did not accept. Do we?
Teach your children about the ultimate free miracle bread by reading aloud from the Gospel of John, chapter 6.
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” (John 6:47)
Susie Lloyd has won three Catholic Press Awards for her writing. Find her books, articles, and speaking schedule at SusieLloyd.com. Permission is granted to copy for use with your classes and families.