“ I am the bread of life…whoever comes to me will never hunger…whoever believes in me will never thirst…”
In this Easter season, we are invited to ‘unpack’ the mysteries of Triduum. Who is this Jesus of the Resurrection? What does the Paschal Mystery call us to? What are our deepest yearnings, and how can they be satisfied?
In today’s gospel, we hear the familiar, yet challenging, introduction to what is known as the Bread of Life Discourse. Jesus is the bread of life – he doesn’t just come to multiply the loaves, to satisfy physical hunger – he says, “I am the bread of life… come to me…you will never hunger…believe in me you will never thirst” – He came to fulfill our yearnings – but – only if we believe and come to him!
Henri Nouwen talks of our ‘yearning’ as the forcefield of desire that draws us to God. Transformation, the work of Easter, calls us to shed our old ways, especially those that have become burdensome. Trust our yearnings and our responses to the presence of God.
Passionist, Thomas Berry, talks about moments of grace “…by moments of grace, I mean special sacred moments of transformation. The transformative experiences are the sacred experiences…there are transformation moments when the future is determined in an irreversible manner…what we do now, or don’t do now, will have enormous consequences for the future…”
Can we trust that we are loved and accepted by God simply because we are ‘who’ we are and we are ‘where’ we are. Do we trust that God listens –patiently and quietly – while we struggle to find words and feelings to hear what God knows is true? How much he loves us and how much he wants to fulfill our desires.
Can the wounds of the risen Jesus free us to believe that Jesus is where we can go and with whom we can speak from the source of our soul to the truth of our experience and the depth of our heart, so that he can transform our fear, doubt and pain into hope, peace and new life?
Faith Offman is the Associate Director of Ministry at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center in Detroit, Michigan.