Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook


Father Muench Says...

Spending time with John 6

May 3, 2023

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Easter Season – the Third Week of Easter is very special. During that third week, the Gospel readings at each of the daily Masses are from the very same chapter, the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel. This is the chapter of John’s Gospel in which we find Jesus’ Discourse on the Bread of Life. This is Jesus’ teaching on the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

In John’s Gospel, there is an extensive description of the Lord’s Last Supper. John includes in that section Jesus’ Discourse at the Last Supper, an important message of the Lord. However, in his story about the Last Supper, John does not mention anything about Jesus’ institution of the Holy Eucharist as is mentioned in the other Synoptic Gospels. John does give us in another place Jesus’ extensive teaching on the Blessed Eucharist. That is in his sixth chapter, that important John 6.

John 6 begins with the story of Jesus’ Multiplication of the Loaves. Jesus feeds 5,000 people. That chapter continues to tell us that then Jesus goes off by himself to pray. He has sent the apostles off in a boat to cross the sea back to Capernaum. We are told that later that night, the apostles in the boat suddenly see Jesus come toward them, walking on the water of the sea, to join them.

The next day, many of the Hebrew people realize that Jesus and the apostles have left and crossed to Capernaum. They travel to catch up with Jesus. Then John 6 describes to us a long discussion of Jesus and the people. The people have many questions for Jesus. This discussion develops into Jesus’ teaching on the Blessed Eucharist. This becomes Jesus’ Discourse on the Bread of Life. I want to mention to you some of this important message of Jesus recorded in John 6.

The people speak of their faith in Moses, remembering the manna given to the people in the desert as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land. Jesus answers them, “It was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven. My Father gives the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and give life to the world.”

Jesus then promises that he comes now to bring the bread of life. Jesus tells them that he comes to be bread – the bread of God, the Eucharist. He says, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

Jesus continues to teach them and us all the power of this sacrament, a teaching for people of all time. He says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread with live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

Jesus continues to teach us all that truly he comes to us in a powerful, loving way in this wonderful sacrament. He says – “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.”

Jesus surprises many of those people with his teaching on the Bread of Life. There is always something challenging is this teaching on the Bread of Life. In John 6, we are now told that some of his disciples there would not accept this teaching of Jesus. We are told that they would no longer walk with him. Jesus turns to his apostles and asks, “Do you want to leave, also?” We are told that it is Peter who speaks up, “Master to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We are convinced, you are the Holy One of God.”

As I write this, I believe in all that Jesus teaches about the Blessed Eucharist. I pray you join me in this dedication and acceptance of the words of the Lord. I now urge you, read again John 6. Read it slowly and prayerfully. Stop often for times of silence and prayer and listen for the Lord’s message. I believe you will find new faith in the Lord.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.