So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.”
Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?”Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I spent the summer of 2016 studying French in a Jesuit community in Paris. We each had house jobs. I cleaned our common bathrooms, hopefully burning off time in purgatory! Another student’s job was to rise early and walk two blocks to the corner boulangerie. And each day he’d return with twenty long, crusty baguettes for the day’s three meals. In the US, this would be an expensive treat. But in France — and much of the world — simple bread remains a staple to much healthier diets. No preservatives or special requests; just reliable, simple bread.
Jesus offers himself as the bread that will not perish. And in the Our Father, we ask God each day to give us our daily bread. These simple statements invite us to consider: what simple disciplines can I incorporate in my day to be nourished? Perhaps simplifying what I eat and drink each day, savoring a new-found simplicity. Maybe a stroll over to church for morning Mass, or a few minutes of silence in the cool quiet of a pew.
What nourishment does God have to offer you today? No preservatives or special requests needed – just reliable, simple bread.
—Fr. Joe Simmons, SJ, is a priest of the Midwest Province and a proud alumnus of Marquette University High School and Marquette University. He begins doctoral studies in theology and literature at the University of Oxford in October.
Lord Jesus, you offer yourself to us as the living bread that nourishes our souls. Just as we are conscious of the food that we put into our bodies, may we take care to live by your word and your truth in our daily lives. Nourish us so that we can continue to work with you in building the kingdom. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!