In today’s first reading from Acts 7, we read about the martyrdom of St. Stephen. He met a brutal end. Can you imagine being stoned to death? How painful that must have been. And yet, he echoes the sentiment of Jesus as He hung on the cross, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Even at the moment of an excruciating death, Stephen was able to forgive. And yet we have the audacity not to forgive even the slightest of offenses.
More from the Bread of Life discourse in our Gospel reading today from John 6. Today we hear Jesus first utter those words. “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Bread was extremely important to the people of Jesus’ time. It was far and away the largest part of their diets. It is what sustained them. The import of Jesus’ words was not lost on them. We think of bread differently these days. Carbs! Bread bad! But don’t let the magnitude of Jesus’ words get lost in the carb shuffle. Because without the Bread of Life, we will surely die.
Father, we echo the words of Jesus’ audience in today’s Gospel reading. “Give us this bread always.” We thank you for accomplishing that in the Blessed Eucharist. Amen.