Jn 6: 41-51




A murmur is different from a whisper. You whisper so as not to be heard by others. You murmur so that you will be heard by someone who you want to influence. A murmur is a sign of disagreement, or rebellion, or dislike. No wonder, in the Rule of St. Benedict, one of the most serious sins a monk can commit is to murmur in the monastery. It destroys one’s peace of mind; it destroys the unity and peace of the community; it infects others in a negative way.


The Jews were murmuring against Jesus because they find his claim incredible. They couldn’t believe how a simple man like Jesus could come from heaven. They couldn’t accept what he teaches about being the Bread of Life whom the Father gives for the life of the world.


As Catholics, we profess our faith in the Eucharist. Because Jesus said he is the Bread of Life, we say “Amen” to him when we receive his Body and Blood in Communion. We say “Amen” to him when we worship him on the Altar of the church or in the Adoration Chapel. We do not murmur. We whisper to him our deep-seated faith: “Yes, Lord, I believe in what you say.”


So many other Christians claim to believe the words of the Bible… in fact, to believe only words that are in the Bible. But how come, like the Jews, they also murmur when it comes to the teaching of Jesus that he is the Bread of Life? They cannot accept the Eucharist as the Real Body of Christ. They insist that it is just a symbol, that it is just a figure of speech, that it is a way of expressing something else.


Jesus did not say in the Bible: “I am the Lord!” or “I am the Savior!” but they believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior of their lives. However Jesus explicitly said: “I am the Bread of Life!” and to this their reply is a murmur. The next time we go to Mass and receive the Eucharist, let us whisper silently but confidently our agreement, our belief, our faith in the claim, the teaching, the word of Jesus – that he is the Bread of Life!