Fr. Howard Thompson
Today we hear that the ‘Word of life’ came down from heaven and became our ‘Bread of life’ (Jn. 6:41-51). This provides a wonderful theological thread that we can glean:
* Jesus the Word is the living Bread from heaven.
* Jesus the Word gives us True bread.
* This bread is His flesh for the life of the world.
* But this flesh is only given after the Word speaks.
* The Word speaks over bread and it truly becomes His Body.
* The Body of the Word is made present through the Spirit.
* The Spirit validly transforms the ordinary bread into living Bread through His Disciples.
* The Disciples impart this gift through the laying of hands on their successors.
* This laying of hands is what we now call the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
* Only the valid Ordination can open the door for the Spirit to work.
* The recognition of Holy Orders leads to the true presence of the Body.
* Therefore the non-recognition of Ordination makes any Sacrament suspect.
* The Body is a gift of the Word that speaks through a definitive line of succession.
The aforementioned flow of thought may help us to understand our faith. But for many who are inside and outside our Church, and who have hard time with this teaching, we can only pray for them and surrender all to our Lord. We eat of the Lord to become like Him.
Loving Word, You are the Bread that gives eternal life. You speak through Your servants, and by the power of the Spirit, ordinary bread becomes Your Body. May we choose to feed on You, so that we will become Your authentic Disciples of real faith, hope and love. Amen.