“Whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” (John 6:35).
Singer/songwriter Kate Wolf released a song in 1983 titled, “Give Yourself to Love.” It describes the great circle of life that occurs when we love. The chorus says simply:
So give yourself to love if love is what you're after;
Open up your hearts to the tears and laughter,
And give yourself to love, give yourself to love.
The song captures something of the mystery we celebrate in this Sunday’s readings and in every Eucharist we take part in. It holds the secret of how to live fully and freely.
The central belief of Christian faith is the Incarnation, the astounding conviction that in Jesus, God was revealed in the flesh in history. This is to be understood as not just a theological concept but as an existential and anthropological fact that opens all of creation to a new destiny and human nature to the capacity for divine life with God.
So when Jesus tells the crowds that he is the Bread from Heaven, he is describing an essential nourishment that is already available to anyone who believes in him. To say yes to Jesus is to know the surge of this new life in us, for we now participate in the body and blood of Jesus, the firstborn of the new creation, united to us as brother, savior and exemplar of the world to come.
Though we are works in progress, disciples learning to activate this maturity in Christ, even now we possess the full gift. Baptism gives us the capacity to love unconditionally as God loves, to forgive as Jesus forgave, to love beyond the limits of ordinary logic, which says to love only those who return our love. This new capacity for unconditional love, reconciliation and peacemaking is our witness to the world.
Jesus became food for a hungry humanity. The sign of his self-emptying love is the Eucharist. Each time we break the bread and share the cup, we are accepting the imprint of that sign on our lives. At each Mass, we unite ourselves to Jesus in his death in order to share in his resurrection—limitless new life pouring into us to replenish what we have given away. The measure we measure out is the measure we receive. Those who sow generously reap a generous harvest, love poured out, overflowing.
“Whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst,” Jesus tells the crowds. What you share will be multiplied, with baskets left over, abundant life, flowing through you like the divine heartbeat, the source of all life. To believe this is to claim the gift already given, but waiting to be lived fully and freely by each of us. So "give yourself to love."