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  • Writer's pictureBishop Mesrop Parsamyan

The Bread of Life

Andrey Rublyov Trinity iLooys

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)

This is one of the great verses of the Fourth Gospel, and indeed of the New Testament.

"I am the bread of life"?

It is not just a beautiful and poetical phrase. For thousands of years, in cultures around the world, bread has been the staple food that kept people alive. For traditional cultures like ours, bread is not just a side order to eat with butter, it stands for everything that gives life. Armenians use the word bread, հաց (hats) also for food in general. Bread sustains life!

"I am the bread of life"?

But what is life? Clearly, by life, Jesus means here something far more than mere physical existence. Real life is the new relationship with God, a relationship of trust and obedience and love. That relationship is made possible only by Jesus Christ, and apart from him, no one can enter into it. That is to say, without Jesus, there may be existence, but not life. Therefore, if Jesus is the essential of life, he may be described as the bread of life.

At the Last Supper the night before He died, Jesus held the bread in His hands and said to His followers, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24). Ever since Christians are celebrating the breaking of the bread. We come together every Sunday to share a meal and be fed with the bread and wine that is Jesus. As we partake of the Eucharist, we are fed with the body and blood of Jesus Christ entering into communion with Him and with one another.

The famous icon of Andrei Rublev called "the Holy Trinity" evokes the biblical scene of the hospitality of Abraham, but it depicts only the three angels seated around a table. Contained in the center of the circle, is the lamb, the holy meal brought to the table. Angels occupy all three sides of the table, and the fourth side is occupied by the one contemplating the icon. It’s an open invitation, indeed! We are invited to complete the circle, to come and have our meal with the Holy Trinity. Isn’t this the reality offered us at Badarak-The Divine Liturgy?

The table is spread, the door is open. Come join us!

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