John 6:49, 51a. “Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died….
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever.”
Manna and living bread are both necessary, because they feed two different aspects of our lives, together offering a full range of necessary spiritually nutritional requirements. To live on manna only is to be bound to the physical world – declaring that our physical senses define the limits of our world and what is real. And yet we all have physical needs – food, water, clothing, shelter, security, rest, affection, recreation, education, health care – that are fed by manna.
Living bread feeds and nourishes our interior life, the transcendental and mystical aspects of ourselves. To eat only living bread, however, is often an attempt to escape, to idealize and spiritualize, and live in the clouds. When this happens, we are “of no earthly value.” That surely is not way of Jesus. Let us not allow it be our way either.
*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day.