by Philip Yuson


By Philip Yuson

Most assuredly, I tell you, it wasn’t Moses who gave you the bread out of heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world. John 6:32-33

During Christmas, we celebrate the coming of Jesus – the single event in history where GOD came down from heaven to be like us. This single event reminds us of the love of GOD for us. He loves us so much, He died for us so we can live with Him. GOD's coming down from heaven is called the Incarnation – GOD taking on flesh to be like us.


If one reads John 6:32-33, we see GOD coming down from heaven in a special way. Jesus had just fed a multitude the previous day and the people wanted to make Him king. He escaped them and went to the other side of the lake. The people found Him and Jesus told them to work for food that will last. The people told Him to show them a sign and Moses gave them bread from heaven.

Jesus responded saying it was His Father who gave them the true bread from heaven. He then identifies this bread – it is the bread of GOD which comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world. One thing to note in Jesus' response is the tense of the verbs he used:
comes and gives – both are in the present tense.

It means that this coming down and giving of the bread is continuing, even today! This happens during the Mass.

For us Catholics, we believe the bread and wine we receive at Mass is not bread and wine but it is the true Body and Blood of Jesus. Jesus comes down in every Mass to be with us – to feed us and lead us to the Father. As he said, the bread of GOD comes down and gives life to the world.

Jesus clearly identifies Himself as this bread.
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will not be hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35. Our hunger is satisfied when we eat the body of Jesus. This happens when we come to Him. Our thirst is satisfied when we drink His blood. This happens when we believe in Him.

Jesus further said in John 6:45
“It is written in the prophets, ‘They will all be taught by GOD.’ Therefore everyone who hears from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me.” To come to Jesus is to be taught by GOD – to hear the Father and learn from Him.

When we receive Communion, we are not just receiving ordinary bread and wine. We are receiving Jesus Himself. In doing so, we should examine ourselves. Do I hear the Father and learn from Him? Am I obedient to the Father's will? Do I believe in Jesus? This belief is not intellectual belief. It is trusting in the person of Jesus.

This Christmas, let us then remember the Bread from heaven who continues to come down to be with us, to satisfy our hunger and our thirst; who gives us life. May we come to Jesus – to listen to His Father and learn from Him and may it lead us to a deeper trust in Him.

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