This Sunday, the people continue to show their ignorance and their indifference to the heart of Jesus. Yes, they run to seek him. Yes, they are willing to follow him, but their motive is wrong. And Jesus warns them: Do not seek for bread, not even for free, miracle bread of last week’s gospel. Do not look for temporary bread.  Do not hold on to perishable food.
Jesus, in patience, instructs the people about the reality he wishes them to perceive and understand: the Living Bread, the true Bread from heaven. It is this Bread that is most important, and that assures them of life, not terrestrial, but celestial, life which is not earthly but life that continues on to eternity.  This is the Bread that opens the gates of heaven.
This Bread is a Person, the very Person of Jesus, who the people must learn to love, accept, believe and follow. Knowing Jesus and loving him and surrendering to him is the real meaning of our life. Being with Jesus brings us to encounter the Father in a very profound way. To be in contact with Jesus gives is the sense of our sleeping and our rising.   Eaten in joy or in tears, this Bread, Jesus himself, gives us strength and courage to face whatever life presents to us.
In our church we have this Bread today in the Eucharist we celebrate. God nourishes us with the Word of inspiration in the words of Scripture, and the Bread of Life in Holy Communion. Do we know this Bread more than the Jews did? Do we appreciate what or better and more correctly, Who we receive when we ingest the sacred Host in communion? Do we really feel how he gives us life?
Thomas Merton, a modern mystic who died years ago, wrote the experience of his first encounter with Jesus, the Bread of Life: “Christ born in me, a new Bethlehem, and sacrificed in me, His new Calvary, and risen in me: offering me to the Father, in Himself, asking the Father, my Father and His, to receive me into His infinite and special love…” We become new, different, changed by the Bread from heaven.
If we see the Eucharist, the Bread we receive at Mass like this, maybe our churches will be full, our adoration chapels overflowing, our streets teeming with caring people, our homes full of forgiveness, our country flowing with responsibility and concern for the welfare of all.
Let us pray that we may understand as Jesus wants us to, that we may believe in him as he desires us to.