(CNS photo/Vatican Media)

In his reflections before leading the recitation of the Angleus prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis recalls the day’s Gospel reading when Jesus reveals himself as the Bread of Life. He underscores that Jesus alone nourishes our soul and gives unending life when life on earth ends.

August 8, 2021

Addressing pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis offered his reflections drawing from the day’s Gospel reading which recounts when Jesus was preaching to the people who had seen the wonder of the multiplication of the loaves. Recalling the manna with which God fed their forefathers when journeying in the desert, the Pope said Jesus revealed himself as bread, that which is essential and necessary for everyday life, saying “I am the bread of life”. The Pope said in this we understand that Jesus alone “nourishes the soul”, forgives us for our failings, accompanies us always and gives us strength and peace of heart, underlining “He alone gives eternal life when life here on earth ends.”

The “beautiful image of Jesus” as bread of life, the Pope observed, “sums up his entire being and mission” culminating in the Last Supper. He not only gives food to the people, but of Himself totally, his life, flesh, and heart, “so that we might have life”, the Pope added. He said these words stir in us our “amazement for the gift of the Eucharist”. God becomes nourishment or food for us as the Bread of Life, the Pope went on to say, something which brings out a sense of amazement, strengthened through our adoration.

At the same time, the Gospel recounts that people instead of being amazed were scandalized, wondering how Jesus, whom they knew, could say he was the bread of life. The Pope said we too can sometimes have this attitude where we might wish to have a God who remains in heaven and is not involved in our day to day affairs. Instead, the Pope pointed out, “God became man to enter into the concrete reality of this world” to be an intimate part of our lives, not separate from us in another world to be called on by us only when needed. Jesus, who loves us, “wants this intimacy with us”, the Pope emphasized.

In conclusion, the Pope encouraged us that when gathering with family for a meal, before breaking bread, to invite Jesus, the Bread of Life, into our home and ask for His blessing, praying simply and with confidence that “Jesus will be at the table with us and we will be fed by a greater love”.

The Pope said, let us look to the Virigin Mary so that she might “help us to grow day after day in friendship with Jesus, the Bread of Life.”

By Vatican News staff writer

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