Reflecting on this Sunday’s gospel reading I was lead to the thought that life is indeed precarious. This precariousness of life should lead us to cherish, respect and protect life, because once this physical life is taken away it cannot be restored. Speaking the temporal point of view there is a validity to this thought, but as Christians we should not look upon this life as an end in itself, for we seek eternal life.
Perhaps this is the reason why our Lord taught us to pray for our daily bread. Not for weekly or monthly but for daily bread. The insecurities of life and its precariousness has the tendency to lead us to express this anxiety in various forms. One of these forms is greed and the desire to preserve life at whatever means.
In our gospel reading Our Lord posed this challenge and proclaim His claim as the source of eternal life. He make allusion to the Manna from heaven that fed the wandering Israelites in the desert of Sinai. Jesus said that the manna fed the Israelites but eventually they died. But here Jesus said that He is the bread of life, and He that eats his flesh and drinks his blood will not die and will have eternal life. For the Jews it was a hard doctrine. To them this was impossible. St. Paul would later say that the crucifixion of Jesus was a stumbling block to the Jews and it was an absurdity for the Greeks. This was indeed a stumbling block to the Jews for in their minds they say how a Messiah can end up being crucified, and to the Greeks how can a man who died be raised again to life? But for the Christians these two difficulties encountered by unbelievers transcends human understanding. For Christ will never be our Bread and Wine unless He is crucified, and he will never be able to raise us on the resurrection unless he precedes us. This is why Jesus was said to be the first fruits among the dead. For by His passion, death and resurrection he held everything in captive and heaven and earth were placed under his footstool and the last enemy to be defeated is death. Death is the fruit of sin, and sin brought death into this world. This is also the reason why we say that the Eucharist is the summit and pinnacle of our Christian life. The Eucharist embodies and it is the application of that one living sacrifice made by Jesus on Calvary. All the law of Moses and the ritual observances of the Jews were fulfilled by Jesus Christ and all the story of the scriptures point to Jesus as the one who fulfilled everything and tha ages of all ages will proclaim Him as the Eternal and Holy One. Thus when we receive the Holy Communion we received the pledge of life from God Himself. And as Jesus said; “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”