“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 world, in the flesh and in His word, to share with us true life, in Him. It is in different ways, – and not only in the Eucharist, – that He offers us Himself as “living bread.” In John 6, quoted above, which takes place well before the Mystical Supper, He says: “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (Jn 6: 63)
In this COVID-“era,” when we aren’t always able to approach Holy Communion, I’m reminded that our Lord Jesus Christ does offer us Himself, as the Source of Life, also in other ways. I must be extra-attentive, these days, to let myself be nourished by His life-creating words, which He calls “spirit and life.” In Christ, I am saved from the “death” of meaninglessness; of a self-isolated, merely-human existence that misses the whole point God has in mind for me, and that is, life.
Today I offer myself, with all my strengths and weaknesses, to One Who offers His life-giving Self to me, again and again. “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2: 20)