Pope Francis: Jesus’ Bread of Life discourse renews ‘our amazement for the gift of the Eucharist’

Pope Francis waves during his Angelus address at the Vatican, Aug. 8, 2021. / Vatican Media.

Vatican City, Aug 8, 2021 / 05:05 am (CNA).

Pope Francis said on Sunday that Jesus’ declaration that he is the “Bread of Life” renews “our amazement for the gift of the Eucharist.”

In his Angelus address on Aug. 8, the pope reflected on the meaning of Jesus’ statement in a passage of the Gospel of John known as the Bread of Life Discourse.

/ Screenshot from Vatican News YouTube channel.
/ Screenshot from Vatican News YouTube channel.

“These words of the Lord reawaken in us our amazement for the gift of the Eucharist. No one in this world, as much they might love another person, can make themselves become food for them. God did so, and does so, for us,” he said.

“Let us renew this amazement. Let us do so as we adore the Bread of Life, because adoration fills life with amazement.”

In his Angelus address, the pope expounded on the day’s Gospel reading, John 6:41-51.

“Jesus reveals himself as bread, that is, the essential, what is necessary for everyday life, without him it does not work. Not one bread among many others, but the bread of life,” he commented.

/ Vatican Media.
/ Vatican Media.

“In other words, without him, rather than living, we get by: because he alone nourishes the soul; he alone forgives us from that evil that we cannot overcome on our own; he alone makes us feel loved even if everyone else disappoints us; he alone gives us the strength to love and forgive in difficulties; he alone gives that peace to the heart that it is searching for; he alone gives eternal life when life here on earth ends. He is the essential bread of life.”

/ Vatican Media.
/ Vatican Media.

Pope Francis gave his live-streamed address at a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square as he continues to recuperate from colon surgery in July. Pilgrims stood spaced out around the square, with some carrying parasols as the summer heat rose in Rome.

The pope said that Jesus’ “Bread of Life” statement summed up “his entire being and mission.”

“This will be seen completely at the end, at the Last Supper. Jesus knows that the Father is asking him not only to give food to people, but to give himself, to break himself, his own life, his own flesh, his own heart, so that we might have life,” he said.

/ Screenshot from Vatican News YouTube channel.
/ Screenshot from Vatican News YouTube channel.

The pope noted that in the Gospel reading, the people were not amazed, but rather scandalized, by Jesus’ declaration.

“Perhaps we too might be scandalized: it might make us more comfortable to have a God who stays in heaven without getting involved, while we can manage matters here on earth,” he said, pointing up at the sky as a breeze flapped the tapestry beneath him bearing his coat of arms.

“Instead, God became man to enter into the concrete reality of this world, to enter into our concrete reality. God became man for me, for you, for all of us, to enter into our lives.”

“And He is interested in every aspect of our life. We can tell him about what we are feeling, our work, our day, our heartache, our anguish, so many things. We can tell him everything because Jesus wants this intimacy with us.”

/ Screenshot from Vatican News YouTube channel.
/ Screenshot from Vatican News YouTube channel.

“What does he not want? To be relegated to being considered a side dish — he who is Bread — to be overlooked and set aside, or called on only when we need him.”

Pope Francis observed that many people eat at least one meal a day with others.

“It would be lovely, before breaking bread, to invite Jesus, the Bread of Life, to ask him simply to bless what we have done and what we have failed to do,” he said.

“Let us invite him into our home; let us pray in a ‘homely’ style. Jesus will be at the table with us and we will be fed by a greater love.”

/ Screenshot from Vatican News YouTube channel.
/ Screenshot from Vatican News YouTube channel.

After praying the Angelus, Pope Francis greeted pilgrims in the square below, acknowledging those from various parts of Italy.

He congratulated a Salesian group that had arrived in Rome by bicycle from Triveneto, in northeastern Italy.

The pope concluded by wishing those present a happy Sunday.

“Please don’t forget to pray for me,” he said.


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4 Comments

  1. An attractive set of photos of Pope Francis, benign, a most positive outlook on the Eucharist. That he is the “Bread of Life renews our amazement” for the gift of the Eucharist. Should I be delighted? I would be absolutely delighted if it were not for doubt. Better said concern. Serious concern, “It’s intimated in Amoris Laetitia that those in irregular marital unions, that is, those divorced and remarried, may rightly receive the Eucharist. Likewise, we find the pontiff sending a handwritten letter to a priest thanking him for his pastoral ministry to the gay and lesbian community, a ministry that flaunts homosexual and gender-diverse lifestyles. It’s becoming more and more common for priests and bishops to advocate the blessing of same-sex unions. When those in ecclesial authority think and act in such a manner, they are Friar Lawrences of our day. With mistaken kindness and mercy, they are providing the poison that will spiritually kill their erring sheep” (Fr Thomas Weinandy OFM Cap Learning from Romeo and Juliet). Fr Weinandy eminent theologian expresses my thoughts, and to the dismay of many the thoughts of many. Many also defend and admire Francis assuring doubters that he is sculpting a more compassionate Church meeting sinners where they’re at. Who could argue with that? Then when I begin to perhaps reconsider, there are the banners, multi colored banners, lots of them flowing from houses, municipal buildings. Churches. Multi colored chasubles. The two don’t jive, that is compassion for the once woebegotten raising them to joyous acceptance. And blessing. Acceptance were it not approbation of disordered behavior would be a good thing. That is the tragedy. That is the cause for great concern for our Church, and those in peril .

    • This reader is less critical of the pope’s (yes, compartmentalized) homily, but I still pause at this; “After praying the Angelus, Pope Francis greeted pilgrims in the square below, acknowledging those from various parts of Italy.”…

      One wonders if on Monday morning the non-Italian pilgrims were able to assist at a Mass or two offered by a single priest, and in a language other than Italian?

  2. I try and even vowed not to read such stuff, but sometimes I succumb to temptation.

    Papal Theology Lessons No. 1 and 2:

    Lesson No. 1:
    The pope says: “…he [Jesus] alone forgives us from that evil that we cannot overcome on our own;”
    The student asks: How is sin forgiven when we cannot give it up?? The sacrament of Reconciliation is described in the CCC. The CCC says that forgiveness comes when we are contrite, when we intend (and do) confess to ask for forgiveness, resolve to amend, do penance, make restitution, etc. Grace can accomplish what we alone cannot. But we must be willing to cooperate with grace. Grace will, if we desire, lead us to overcome our sins.

    Lesson No. 2:
    The pope says: “…he alone gives eternal life when life here on earth ends.”
    The student asks: The CCC says ensoulment occurs “immediately” at the creation of the person’s body, i.e., conception. The soul, through which one enters life after death is present throughout a person’s life.

    Extra Credit Lesson: Will Jesus really “bless what we have done and what we have failed to do”? if we are not sorry for any of it???

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