Gospel: Jn 6:30-35
The crowd said to Jesus, ”Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe you. What sign do you perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says: They were given bread from heaven to eat.”
Jesus then said to them, ”Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread God gives is the One who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” And they said to him, ”Give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, ”I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty.
Bread symbolizes life since it has the capacity to sustain biological life. Used in the spiritual sense, it is God‘s providential love who assures His people‘s life by giving them sustenance they need. Bread is a tangible sign of God‘s commitment to uphold Israel‘s well-being especially in the harsh conditions of the desert. Thus the manna in the desert experience of Israel has deep religious and spiritual impact in the life of the Jews of that time.
No wonder then that they ask Jesus for a tangible sign. If He comes from God as Moses did, He must perform for them a miraculous sign. The funny thing is, the sign sought by the Jews is already in front of them. Jesus was the heavenly bread that came down from heaven, more potent than the manna in the desert. Those who ate it died, but those who would listen to Jesus‘ words will have life eternal. And so He has to introduce Himself to them. ”I am the bread of life…” Silence, then utter disbelief followed. Others were dismayed. Others were perplexed. Some made a jump to an act of faith. That day when Jesus disclosed who He is, the individuals who made a choice choose their future fate.