“Jesus answered them, “Yes, I say to you: It was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; rather, it is my Father who gives you the bread, spiritually real, from heaven. It is the bread of God, it descends from heaven and gives true life to the world.”
Then they said, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
Jesus replied, “I AM the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will hunger no more, and whoever has faith in me will thirst no more.” (John 6: 32-36)
We all have spiritual hunger, but we do not all know that that’s what it is. Anxiety, depression, cynicism, despair, addiction all come from a lack of nourishment for the soul and spirit.
There could be no better reflection of our spiritual deprivation, that what is offered as “food” today in our highly-developed society: in our hospitals and in our schools. We are offered substance which gives us the “sensation” of fullness, while supplying no real nourishment. And because the ingredients are invisible, people cannot always tell.
The ongoing consumption of non-foods, cannot be offered up the human being to become “spirit” in thought or in energy, and we become less and less available to the Spirit: dull, bored and restless.
This then breathes into what we are able to offer as “culture” so that our art, music, even our religious teachings and education, begin to provide a “quasi-nourishment” which does not really satisfy the soul’s hunger. But it’s “supposed” to! So what do we do? Fake it, to try to fit in with the crowd?
In religious spheres, people just walk away. But that too is influenced by the culture. It is the cool thing today to be “spiritual but not religious” or to be a humanist, find God in Nature, or not at all.
I read a story the other day. A woman about 40 yrs. old with a son already grown, found herself pregnant. In the peak of her career, in the middle of her life, this was not what she wanted or expected. So she went to her church to seek help. The pastor came and sat with her as she explained her difficulty. She said, “I thought if I came here and was still and quiet, I might receive some sort of sign or message about what to do.”
The pastor laughed gently and said,” That only happens in the movies.”
What could possibly bring a pastor, a shepherd of souls, to such an empty place? Lack of true nourishment on all sides.
Christ transforms substance and makes it “spiritually real.” When something is “spiritually real” it is beyond time and space. It will live on after the world’s end. He gives us the possibility of direct Spiritual healing in the transubstantiation, His Being in the bread and the wine. “The nourishment of the Sacrament is preserved in the “eternal body” of the human being”. (Rudolf Steiner)
When He says, “I am the bread of life” he is transferring His life to our life, to our own “I am”, to the highest part of the human being, which we have to rescue from the death of matter.
We have been given the precious sacraments to preserve and protect, so that we can live in His life, now and always.
by Carol Kelly