On the night he was betrayed he took the bread and giving thanks, broke it and gave it to his disciples……These prayer of consecration during the Holy Mass proves the love of Christ for us. The Gospel of John records thus, “He loved his own in the world; he loved them to the end” (John 13: 1). The depth of this love for the mankind is what made Jesus to be transformed into bread.
The first temptation Jesus faced in the desert was the Satan asking Jesus to turn the stones into bread (Luke 4:3). The words of Satan come across as the advice of a friend, because he knew that Jesus has come to become the bread for mankind. Jesus has a long road of sufferings and pain before his mission. Even his own family thought that he had lost his mind (Mark 3:21) and was rejected by the people of his home town (Mark 6:3). Even his favorite disciples abandoned him when he needed him the most. So Satan’s question, “You have the power to turn the stone into bread. Then why do you need to go through these sufferings?” Jesus knew that if he gave heed to the words of Satan then the design of God concerning Jesus will not be fulfilled and defeats the temptation of Satan through the word of God.
When we meditate on the mystery that Jesus is the bread of eternal life then it will give us the enforcement to lead a life holy and acceptable. The bread that Jesus raised on the day of the Last Supper is the embodiment of his life. As St. Pope John Paul II says, Jesus at Emmaus broke the bread and gave it and he vanished into the bread.
The Lord calls us every day to become broken like him. When we accept the challenges the life throws at us and lead a life discerning the will of God we too become like Jesus. But remember, like Jesus was tempted on that day in the desert, the Satan will continue to whisper in our ears, ‘turn these stones in to bread’ during our trials and tribulations. When the worldly pleasures are awaiting you, why do you have to go through these sufferings? When we commemorate the breaking of bread during the Paschal week, let us remember that we cannot follow Jesus without carrying our cross and if we do so then it will not be the plan of God. Let us in all sincerity accept the responsibilities and challenges that life offers us and lead a life pleasing to God.
Fr Prince Chakkalayil CST