This brief reflection will focus on the readings of July 29th. The theme of bread is recurrent in the Bible.
Three of the four readings today focus on bread. Bread is food for the body but Jesus made it food for the soul.
We begin with Elijah feeding a large crowd with a few loaves. In the Psalm, it says, “The hand of the Lord feeds us.” In the Gospel, Jesus provides food for a large crowd, similar to Elijah. In Jesus’ case, it didn’t matter how much bread he had, or how big the crowd was; Jesus’ goal was to feed everyone in need.
Jesus refers to himself as the bread of life. When Jesus gave us the Eucharist at the Last Supper, he provided spiritual food to sustain us on our earthly journey. With our faith, we believe that when the consecrated host is lifted up at the time of doxology, it is reminding us that this is the body of Jesus, who gave his life for us so that we may live in peace knowing that our sins may be forgiven.
Another connection can be traced to after the Resurrection when Jesus appeared to the Apostles “and they recognized him in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24). When we receive Communion, we are participating in the sharing of the bread from Elijah, through Jesus and continuing through the centuries. When we break bread, we are strengthening our connection with our community of believers as well as with the Lord Jesus Christ. So when the priest consecrates the bread, it is a special time for me during the Mass as heaven and earth coincide within our community, thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus and his creation of our spiritual nourishment.
This post was written by Neil Burke, Dominican Associate