The Sustaining Bread of Life, a Silly Reflection
Christ is Risen!
So, Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life.” And so He is. If you want eternal life and spiritual life,
follow Him and eat Him in the Holy Eucharist, and He will sustain you in spiritual life now and with eternal life in the life to come.
Today as I write, I don’t feel so alive, but more tired out. Scriptural quotes and patristic quotes are
not coming to mind, so I shall leave the beaten path and give one of my silly reflections as if dreaming.
The bread of life, of course, alludes to bread the ordinary food, and bread the ordiary food is something you bake, and eat, and it sustains you, restoring your strength of body and mind. We’re a bit spoiled in our country; in very many places, bread is the main dish, the chief food; it represents the meal. You bake it in an oven, or on a hot stone or in a pan, and there are a great variety of ovens that have been devised and used; many of the early kinds are still in use today in some places.
One of the most interesting that has ever come to my notices looks like a very huge, thick-walled,
dome-topped jug, with a moderately wide opening on top: buried in the ground, with only the dome-shaped top showing where you can squat while cooking your meal.You can toss down into it your handful of kindling, another handful of sticks for fuel, and toss in something burning to get it all to light up. You take your dough, patted back and forth in your open hands,and reach in and sort of plaster it against the insides of the oven’s walls, and even up inside the dome-shaped top: they will stick where you put them, and bake. With a hook, reach in to set your pot of water
on the fire, and it will heat up and boil for you while the bread is baking. Reach in with a hook if it’s too hot for your arm, and get the bread out, turn it over, plaster it back to cook on the other side. You can add a pan of something else to cook, if you have something. When the bread is done, reach that hook tool in again, and get hold of each pad of bread and pull it up and out: you might make a batch of a couple dozen wide thick pads of bread that way. I’m sure they are delicious, being home-made.
Baking bread with a mostly-buried oven: that’s in “inside job.” Eat the body and drink the blood,
in Holy Eucharist, in the consecrated Bread and Wine, and He will be doing an inside job on you. The dough has to be heated and baked. We have to endure some sufferings and hardships; Jesus did so, for us. That is how the dough develops into wholesome bread; that is how we develop into purity that can see God, and into better ascetical masters of self-control, and into closer union with our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. The bread may be poked by that hook tool; we may be poked by the crosses we carry, to follow Christ. The bread rises. May we rise, too, into everlasting glory with our Savior and all the holy angels and saints.
Christ is Risen!
Homily for 3rd Fri after Pascha, 2023-04-28, Jn.6:48-54
Week of the Myrrh-bearing Women, in the Paschal season
by Br Seraphim (© 4/2024)