In today’s Gospel we begin the Discourse on the Bread of Life (Jn 6, 22-71). It is not really a discourse, but a series of seven brief dialogues, which explain the meaning of the multiplication of the bread.
After the multiplication of the loaves, the people followed Jesus. They had eaten and were satiated and wanted more! They look for bread and life, but only found the body. Jesus asks the people to take a step more and advance. Besides working for the bread that perishes, they should work for the imperishable food. The Son of Man, indicated by God himself will give the new food. He brings life, which lasts forever. This is a new horizon on the sense of life.
The people ask:”What should we do to carry out this work of God?”
Jesus answers that the great work of God asks us to “believe in the one sent by God”.
Then the people formulated a new question:“Which sign do you do so that we can see and can believe? Which work do you do?”
This means that they did not understand the multiplication of the loaves as a sign from God to legitimize Jesus before the people, as the one sent by God!
They continue to argue:“In the past our fathers ate the manna which Moses gave them! “
They called it “bread from Heaven”, that is, “bread of God”. Jesus responds that the bread given by Moses was not the true bread from heaven. Coming from on high, yes, but it was not the bread of God, because it did not guarantee life to any one. All of them died in the desert. The true bread of heaven, the bread of God, is the one, which conquers death and gives life! It is the one, which descends from Heaven and gives life to the world.
Jesus answers clearly: “I am the bread of life!” To eat the bread of heaven is the same as to believe in Jesus.