The Israelites in the desert complained for lack of food in the desert. (Exodus 16:2-15) That was reasonable and God accepted the complaints as prayer and solved their problem. No food in the desert could, of course, be expected. For people it was difficult, but for God it was simple. He gave them manna to eat. What is manna? Manna is composed of many drops like hoarfrost. This sweet substance which contains glucose and fructose drips from the leaves of tamarix trees. It hardens in the cool of the night and melts at about 70 degrees, that is an hour or two after sunrise. People could collect it before sunrise and eat it for the day. God does not react to the complaint of the people but simply tells Moses what to do. God provided for the needs of the chosen people on their journey. Jesus referred to the manna (John 6) and called himself the BREAD OF LIFE. (John 6:24-35).
Last Sunday we heard that Jesus facing a large crowd of people on the shore of Galilee took the five loaves of bread and gave thanks before he distributed the bread. The work in his original Greek for “giving thanks” is “Eucharist.” The point of the story is that Jesus had in mind something more than ordinary food. In today’s reading he is preaching in Capernaum on the Eucharist and calling people to have faith in him, the one whom God had sent into the world. Such faith is necessary since accepting the Eucharist depends entirely on the word of Jesus.
The crowd of people were looking for Jesus, because he gave them bread to eat. Jesus leads them to look for bread that would give eternal life. Naturally people were eager to know where to get that. To that enquiry Jesus says to do the work of God. That was difficult for them. So they demanded a sign that would convince them to believe in Jesus. Jesus reveals that he is the heavenly bread that gives life, the bread of life. He satisfies the hunger and thirst of any and every person who receives him in the Eucharist and follows his teaching.
St. Paul, Eph 4:17, 20-24, insists on the change that should be there in your life because of your baptism and accepting Christ in your life. Take a look at yourself and check to see whether the old gentile is dominating in you or Christ is reflecting in you. Beware of the old self that may lead you to damnation. Renew yourself in the Spirit of Christ.