“The Lord, your God … fed you with manna, which you did not know” (Deuteronomy 8.2)
Beyond physical hunger, man bears in himself another hunger, a hunger that cannot be satiated with ordinary food. It is hunger for life, hunger for love, and hunger for eternity. And the sign of the manna – as the whole experience of the Exodus – contained this dimension also in itself: it was the figure of a food that satisfies this profound hunger that man has.
Jesus gives us this food, in fact, He himself is the living bread that gives life to the world (cf. John 6:51). His Body is real food under the species of bread; His Blood is real drink under the species of wine. It is not simple nourishment with which to satiate our bodies, as manna; the Body of Christ is the bread of the end times, capable of giving life, and eternal life, because the essence of this bread is Love.
Communicated in the Eucharist is the Lord’s love for us: such a great love that He nourishes us with himself; a gratuitous love, always at the disposition of every hungry person and needy of regenerating his strength. To live the experience of faith means to let oneself be nourished by the Lord and to build one’s existence not on material goods, but on the reality that does not perish: the gifts of God, His Word and His Body.
Rome, June 2014