“Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together upon him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him” (Acts 7:56-58).
Yesterday, Jesus told the crowd who had obviously come to him for the sake of bread not to work for the food which perishes but for that which lasts forever. Today, Jesus continues His message to the crowd. This time, it was more like a conversation with the people. Jesus was leading them somewhere – the Holy Eucharist.
First, Jesus began by explaining to them the inner meaning of the miracle they had just experienced (the feeding of the five thousand). This miracle was a sign; a pointer to the fact that God is truly a provider, a pointer that God truly cares for his people; a pointer that God is willing to go to any extent to ensure that we get our needs just as God was willing to feed the people during their sojourning in the desert.
Secondly, Jesus made them understand that there are different types of bread; the earthly bread and the bread which comes down from heaven. While the earthly bread represents all that this world has to offer us (food, money, power, luxury, etc. which often create more hunger in us), the bread which comes down from heaven is that which truly gives us LIFE. At this point, the people got the message. So they asked Jesus, we want this bread that comes from heaven. “Give us this bread always.” We don’t want to eat the bread that leaves us hungrier, we want the bread that is from heaven. Jesus then told them: I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE; HE WHO COMES TO ME SHALL NOT HUNGER AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME SHALL NEVER THIRST.
Jesus is the Bread of Life. When our relationship with Jesus suffers, everything else falls apart. We all need to have a solid relationship with God to survive in this world and to realize that we are just sojourners. Stephen had this deep inner connection with God. In fact, it is from the lips of Stephen that we get to hear how heaven looks like. Stephen’s vision of heaven helped to form our creed: “He ascended into heaven, where he is seated at the right hand of God the father.”
Keep your relationship with Jesus alive, fuel your spiritual life, create time daily to be alone with God in prayer, have a daily routine of meditation, bible study and other spiritual activities, never stop it. It is the energy that is more powerful than food. Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, make me realize how much I need you. Amen. Bible Study: Acts 7:51-59, Psalm 31 and John 6:30-35).