Commentary on John 6:35-40
We continue yesterday’s reading by repeating its last words where Jesus tells his listeners very clearly that he is the Bread of Life. All those who partake of this Bread will never again be either hungry or thirsty. The whole life of Jesus – his actions and words and his relationships with those around him – are a rich source on which we can draw.
In a sense, of course, we will always hunger and thirst for this full life but, by approaching and imbibing him and his spirit, our hunger and thirst are ever being satisfied while we continue to hunger and thirst for more. There will never be a time when we will want to stop eating and drinking from this Source and when we do we will stop living.
Jesus reproves his listeners for their lack of faith in him. “Though you have seen me, you still do not believe.” The question is: how much of Jesus did they really see? How deep was their perception of who he truly was and is?
That may be our problem too. Without a deep trust and total commitment to Christ and all he stands for, we may find that we do not have full access to that Bread of Life which we need so much. The search for the full Christ is one that we will never complete in this life. We only hope that we never stop searching. There will never be a day on this earth when we will be able to say: “I know Christ fully.” Not even the whole Church can make that claim.
Yet Jesus intensely wants to share that Bread, that nourishment with us. “Indeed, it is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in him, shall have eternal life.”
Let us open our hearts today so that Jesus can fill them with his life-giving love. For he says: “I will not reject anyone who comes to me.”
Jesus has a mission. “I came down from heaven [a phrase repeated six times in this chapter] not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” And what is the will of the Father? “It is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me but that I should raise it [on] the last day.
This is a summary of what this whole chapter is about. God wants everyone to be with him “on the last day”. On our part, we have to learn how to “see the Son” and “believe in him”, so that one day we can say with St Paul: “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). When that happens we know that we have truly been filled with the Bread that is Christ.