This short homily is taken from the Prologue of Ochrid for September 11th, this last Sunday. My short commentary will be afterward.
“I am the Bread of life (John 6:35).
Who can give life, my brethren, other than the One who created it? Who, in truth, can the Bread of life be, other than our Creator? He created, He sustains, He nourishes and He gives life. If wheat nourishes the body, Christ nourishes the soul. If our body is sustained by earthly bread, our soul is nourished and lives by Christ. If our souls are nourished by some other food, and not by Christ, our souls decay and die, and do not live. Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life (John 6:27). So says the Lord in a previous statement. First, He examines the hunger of men and then offers bread to satisfy it. Indeed, He offers the hunger, and then bread, for men are confused with regard to hunger. They are hungry for something but do not know what. Even when satisfied with earthly food and even when overfilled, they feel a certain insatiable hunger. Although they see that the whole earth, and all the bread on earth, cannot satisfy this mysterious hunger, they rush after earthly food; they vie for the earth and only for the earth. The true hunger of men is the hunger for heaven, for eternal life, for God. The Lord Jesus first emphasizes that hunger, and then prepares the meal for its satisfaction. He Himself is that meal: I am the Bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger (John 6:35). They shall be satisfied, they shall rejoice, they shall be enlivened, they shall know God, and they shall know themselves. O my brethren, He will raise them from the dead! For constant feeding on the food which perishes, without immortal, spiritual food, gradually dulls the soul and finally renders it completely dead. Dead of what? Of hunger. The body is of the earth and is satisfied with earthly food, but the soul is of the breath of the Source of life Himself, and seeks food and drink from its one and only Source.”
I see in this short homily all of us, but most especially those who are wandering in search of God, though they might not know it. I can say from my own experience that I did the same thing before my own personal conversion. As well, I see this constantly with alcoholics and addicts.
But we are all addicted to sin, aren’t we? And so we try and fill the hurt -and guilt- in our souls with all kinds of other things and distractions. We try to feed our souls with the food of the World, and this does not satisfy. We neglect the food of our souls, and we starve.
“O Lord Jesus, Bread of eternal life, of true and imperishable life, sweetest Bread-nourish us with Thyself.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen!”