Tuesday of the Third week of Easter
Christ is “the bread of life” for those who believe in him
Baldwin of Ford (?-c.1190), Cistercian abbot
The Sacrament of the altar II, 3 ; SC 93
"The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world"
Christ is “the bread of life” for those who believe in him: to believe in Christ is to eat the bread of life, to possess Christ within one, to possess eternal life...
“I am the bread of life,” he says; “your fathers ate manna in the wilderness and they are dead” (Jn 6,48f). By this is to be understood spiritual death. Why are they dead? Because they believed in what they saw and did not understand what they could not see... Moses ate manna, Aaron ate it and many others, too, who pleased God and are not dead. Why are they not dead? Because they understood in a spiritual fashion, they were spiritually hungry, they tasted the manna spiritually so that they might be spiritually satisfied. “This is the bread that came down from heaven: whoever eats it will never die” (v.50).
This manna – that is to say, Christ, who himself spoke like this..., was prefigured by the manna but was able to do more than manna could. For manna could not of itself prevent dying spiritually... But the righteous saw Christ in the manna, they believed in his coming, and Christ, of whom manna was the symbol, grants to all who believe in him that they should not spiritually die. Hence he says: “This is the bread come down from heaven; whoever eats it will never see death.” Here on earth, here now, before your eyes, your eyes of flesh: here is to be found the “bread from heaven” (v.51). The “bread of life” we spoke of a moment ago is now called “living bread”. Living bread because it contains within itself the life that abides and can deliver from spiritual death and bestow life. First he said: “Whoever eats it will never die”; now he speaks clearly concerning the life he gives: “Whoever eats this bread will live for ever” (v.58).