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Sunday, October 29, 2017

This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (Jn 6: 50-51)

What kinds of “life” and “death” is Christ talking about here? The kinds that begin already here, in this world. The Son of God has come “down from heaven,” has inserted Himself into our physical world, in the flesh, to share with us true life, in Him. He offers us communion/participation in His physical Body and Blood, that we may, already here, “have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10: 10). He shares with me His human-divine Being, sweeping me up into the unity God intended for us in the first plac...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

“… Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children (χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων).” (Mt 14: 17-21)

Just a curious thought. As far as the disciples are concerned, including Matthew, the holy Evangelist, the “women” (and children) in this scene don’t “count.” And in our traditional texts, for example, in the text of our Byzantine prayer of the Blessing of the Breads at the Litya (Litany) at the end of Vespers, we mention the “five thousand fed...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life (ὁ ἄρτος τῆς ζωῆς); he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out…” (Jn 6: 35-37)

Today, on Bright Saturday, the special Easter “Bread” or “Artos,” which we see on a small table before the iconostasis in our churches all of Bright Week, is broken and distributed to the faithful. The “Artos” was first blessed on the night of Pascha, and carried around the church in processions throughout this week. It signifies, or points to, the presence of the Lord among us, His disciples, after His resurrection.

So that is why I’m thinking about this passage, in which Christ...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Give us this day our daily (τὸν ἐπιούσιον) bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us…” (Mt 6: 11-12)

Yesterday I reflected on an unhealthy, deadly kind of “bread” that is Internet porn. Today I’d like to reflect on the vital, essential, “daily bread,” suitable to our nature both now and in the life to come (according to the many explanations one finds in the Fathers, of the term “τὸν ἐπιούσιον”), which we are called to ask for and desire. One of the great things about Lent, I find, is that it teaches me to pay closer attention to my “food-choices,” both physical and spiritual.

As far as physical “bread” goes, let me gratefully note that God provides it for me today. It includes the entirety of my physical needs, like food, shelter, clothing, face-to-f...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away…” (Jn 6: 35-37)

 

Such is His promise, and I know it’s true, because He proves Himself, time and again, when I walk in Him and place my reliance on Him, rather than myself or someone/something else. When God is my focus, and I put Him first, I see things differently, by His grace, and feelings of insufficiency, neediness, disappointment, and unfulfilment are removed. I am no longer “hungry” or “thirsty,” as the Bread of Life promises. Without Him, even too much is not enough, ever. And yet,...

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