Thursday 7 May 2020

Fourth Week of Easter
Word for today
The Gospel of John 6:35-40

The Bread of Life

The Bread of Life, in Greek hò àrtos tès zoès.
Àrtos, from the Sumerian root ar, "grind" and the noun har, "fine flour, wheat ground finely," is connected with the Greek words àrti, "now, at this moment, immediately, instantly," àrtios, "fitting, suited, apt, adjusted, appropriate ", and artào," I link, connect ". Àrtos is the literal translation of "bread", but it implies food in general. The Aramaic root lchem, has the value of "feeding", "eating", and its noun form stands for any type of food.
The Bible mentions the word bread 400 times.  In the Old Testament God repeatedly speaks of himself using bread as symbol: in the desert, to the people walking towards the promised land, he gives the manna as a sign of his protection, care and love, the manna was called àrtos. For Semitic people bread is not just food, but it symbolizes all kinds of prosperity. The bread-food-nutrition is not made of flour alone, says Jesus to the divisor, the devil, in the desert. There is a kind of bread made by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). Thus, bread is a symbol of any intellectual and spiritual food. Bread is also called "life", because it is the basic element of any diet, to the extent that the lack of "bread" is equivalent to being in the condition of dying.
Jesus says that he himself is the bread: I am the bread of life (John 6:48), I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.  (John 6:35), I am the bread that came down from heaven (John 6:41). The sixth chapter of the Gospel of John speaks of Jesus as the Bread of everything man can desire: wisdom, strength, salvation, happiness, truth, all the very best of any bread that can be given to men. The bread-food unites the four primordial elements: earth, where the wheat grows, water, to knead dough, air, which allows the leavening, fire, to cook the bread. The word companion derives from Latin cùm-pànis, because bread is union, sharing.  Bread together with wine was chosen by Jesus as the supreme mediation for the celebration of the Eucharist, for the communion with him and with our brothers. The bread of the Eucharist is the new bread for the new people who follows the new commandment, the new procedure of love.