Jesus said to the Jewish crowds: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt to spend the next forty years wandering in the desert, God was still Faithful to feed them with manna from the sky and water from a stone. God did this each and every day. Now, forty years in the sand might sound like a dream vacation to many, but this was the desert. And, it was nothing, but sand for forty years. Anyone who has lived for twenty years or more probably gets the point that this was really hard on everyone; including Moses and his Brother, Aaron. It was so hard that many of the Israelites actually wanted to go back to be slaves again in Egypt; to go back and get whipped, abused, and worked to the bone seven days a week for roughly sixteen hours a day. Their thinking was most likely the surety of the situation (the known) in Egypt versus the unknown that God was leading them to via Moses. They were willing to choose a horrible norm versus the Promise of a Promised Land and an Eternity with God. And, they were willing to give-up even after Moses (through God) parted the Red Sea and then crashed it back down killing the Egyptian army; even after God was continually-dropping them manna from the sky and making water flow from a rock. But, isn’t that just like us? Don’t we often run towards a “known” versus free-falling into the “unknown”? Isn’t the what Jesus is reminding us of in the Gospel? Jesus offers us a new Covenant; a new Promise. By Jesus sacrificing Himself on the Cross, He would become the Perfect Offering that the Israelites from Adam to Moses and all the way until Jesus were never able to offer. Jesus gave us a new Way and He Promises us that “who[ever] feeds on me [Him] will have life because of me [Him]”. We MUST feed on Jesus – it is critical – on His Word, His Example, His Ways, etc. It’s in our hunger for Christ that we find our True Selves; our Purest Selves like when we were 7-years-old and just Believed. So, let’s do our best to feed on Jesus and let His Nourishment be the Spiritual Food that leads all of us to Eternity!