Becoming Bread – Eat and live
- Psalm 34:9-14
- Proverbs 9:1-6
- John 6:51-58
Reverence for God, Receiving Life
It is indeed right to give God thanks and praise! May God’s praise always be on our lips.
The prayerful praise of the Psalmist that we heard a few minutes ago from Psalm 34, beckons God’s children today as it has for nearly 3000 years.
Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you [reverence] for God.
Then the Psalmist asks on behalf of God:
Which of you desires life….to enjoy good?
If we revere God and desire life we know that we are God’s children. We also know that we must live in response to God’s call. So the Psalmist continues:
Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit,
Depart from evil, and do good.
God’s call is summed up in the Psalmist’s next words:
Seek peace and pursue it.
As the voice of God, the Psalmist issues an invitation, asks a question, and declares a proper response. Come and listen to this wise word. Do you desire and enjoy life? Then you must “Seek peace and pursue it.
Come, Eat My Bread
We heard another wise word from another Old Testament writer of wisdom — Proverbs.
It is a wonderful welcome to us to come and receive Wisdom’s Feast.
Wisdom [Sophia] has built her house….
She [Sophia] has [prepared meat and wine and] set the table.
She has sent servants [to invite you to the feast].
She says, “Come, eat my bread and drink the wine I have [prepared].”
Accept Sophia’s invitation –Wisdom’s welcome– and you will be nourished so that you:
Live and walk in the way of insight.
Here in this worship you are welcomed again to another of Wisdom’s Feasts – at the Lord’s Table of our communion with Christ. Come and eat and live Wisdom’s way!
In John’s Gospel, we listen to Jesus’ eloquent wisdom and compelling invitation to receive Bread of Life. We continue hearing chapter 6 of John’s Gospel. Jesus reveals himself in Bread. It is bread from heaven that is far more life-giving than even the manna in the desert that our ancestors ate during those 40 long years of wandering in the wilderness from Egypt to the Promised Land with Moses.
I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry… John 6:35
Here the word of God from John’s Gospel: Read John 6:51-58…
Holy Wisdom! Holy Word!
Jesus took bread and identified himself with it so that we might do the same. We are called to this Table by Jesus to receive bread and to “Become Bread” with Jesus for the life of the world. Bread is broken symbolizing Jesus body broken for us and offered to us so that we who receive this broken bread do not break other bodies in the world or break the world. God is actively redeeming the world in Jesus through bread.
Come and eat and live forever. Jesus invites you to receive bread and become bread.
“Let the hungry come to me!”
A delightful songwriter, Delores Dufner has written a wonderful song included in our Hymnal, “Let the hungry come to me” (HWB #464). Delores is a Benedictine sister from Saint Benedict’s monastery in Minnesota, who glows with life and love. Delores is one who knows what t means to “Become Bread” for the world. She attended our Mennonite Catholic Bridgefolk event last July at Saint John’s Abbey. Since our Bridgefolk theme was on “Making Peace: At the Table, in the World” we had asked Delores to teach us her song, “Let the Hungry Come to Me.” She taught us a more recent version of “Let the Hungry come to me” than the one in our hymnal. We are not going to sing it because we haven’t received permission from the copyright holder, although Delores would be delighted if we sang it.
Most sacred songs can be related to a biblical text. Each of the 6 verses of Delores’ song refers to a different but related biblical text. Listen to the words of “Let the hungry come to me” (See song on separate page).
LET THE HUNGRY COME TO ME
1. Let the hungry come to me, the poor be fed.
Let the thirsty come and drink, share my wine and bread.
Though you have no money, come to me and eat.
Drink the cup I offer; feed on finest wheat!
2. I myself am living bread; feed on me and live.
In this cup my blood for you; drink the wine I give.
All who eat my body, all who drink my blood,
shall have joy forever, share the life of God.
Rev 19 & 21
3. Here among you shall I dwell, making all things new.
You shall be my very own, I , your God with you.
Blest are you invited to my wedding feast.
You shall live forever, all your joys increased.
4. Nourished by the Word of God, now we eat the bread.
With the gift of God’s own life hungry hearts are fed.
Manna in the desert, in our darkest night
food for pilgrim people, pledge of glory bright!
1 Cor. 11
5. Many grains become one loaf, many grapes, the wine.
So shall we one body be, who together dine.
As the bread is broken, as the wine is shared:
so must we be given, caring as Christ cared.
6. Risen Savior, walk with us, lead us by the hand.
Heal our blinded eyes and hearts; help us understand.
Lord, make known your presence at this table blest.
Stay with us forever, God, our host and guest!
Text: Delores Dufner, OSB, copyright 1985, 1994 by the Sisters of St.
Benedict, 104 Chapel Lane, St. Joseph, MN 56374 -0220
Published and administered by World Library Publications.
Music: Melody from Gregorian chant ADORO TE DEVOTE 126.96.36.199;