Pope: Jesus is essential, so let's not reduce him to a side dish
In defining Jesus as "the bread of life" in his Angelus address, the pontiff urged the faithful to reawaken the amazement for the gift of the Eucharist during the Eucharistic adoration, and “to ask him simply to bless what we have done and what we have failed to do.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis spoke to a few thousand pilgrims gathered this morning in St Peter's Square for the Sunday Angelus prayer.
In his address, the pontiff said that Jesus is the bread that is essential to life. For this reason, he asks not “To be relegated to being considered a side dish” but “is interested in every aspect of our life.”
Speaking about the Gospel passage in today's liturgy, Francis noted that, once the loaves were multiplied, Jesus invited the crowd to “make a qualitative leap: after having recalled the manna with which God had fed the forefathers in the long journey through the desert, he now applies the symbol of the bread to himself” and offered himself as “the bread of life”.
Jesus is not any bread; he is the bread of life. For the Pope, “without him, rather than living, we get by: because he alone nourishes the soul; he alone forgives us from that evil that we cannot overcome on our own; he alone makes us feel loved even if everyone else disappoints us; he alone gives us the strength to love and, he alone gives us the strength to forgive in difficulties; he alone gives that peace to the heart that it is searching for; he alone gives eternal life when life here on earth ends.”
Such words find their full meaning in the Last Supper. “These words of the Lord reawaken in us our amazement for the gift of the Eucharist. No one in this world, as much they might love another person, can make themselves become food for them. God did so, and does so, for us. Let us renew this amazement. Let us do so as we adore the Bread of Life, because adoration fills life with amazement.”
Yet the Gospel says that those who listened to Jesus were scandalized. “Perhaps we too might be scandalized: it might make us more comfortable to have a God who stays in heaven without getting involved in our life, while we can manage matters here on earth.
“Instead, God became man to enter into the concrete reality of this world; to enter into our concrete reality, God became mand for me, for you, for all of us, in order to enter into our life. And He is interested in every aspect of our life. We can tell Him everything because Jesus wants this intimacy with us.”
The bread of life cannot “be relegated to being considered a side dish” or “called on only when we need him.” For this reason, in concluding, Francis urged families to rediscover prayers when they eat together.
“It would be lovely, before breaking bread, to invite Jesus, the bread of Life, to ask him simply to bless what we have done and what we have failed to do. Let us invite him into our home; let us pray in a ‘homey’ style. Jesus will be at the table with us and we will be fed by a greater love.”