IN the last month and a half, we have heard Jesus as the Bread of Life in our Sunday services.
Our reflection in our Sunday services revolved around our call to abide in Jesus and what it means for us all to be bread for the world. I have posed questions for our prayerful reflections during sermon times on what it means to believe that Jesus is the Bread of life. What is the form of our practice if Jesus calls us to be bread for others? What feeds the soul? What feeds us here at St. Margaret’s? Where do we get our spiritual nourishment and so on?
It was timely that during my study at Virginia Theological Seminary, we worked on a book by Henri Nouwen “Life of the Beloved” where he expounds on what it means to be Bread taken, blessed, broken and given.
I have always believed that all of us have been called to be God’s beloved in Jesus. In my spiritual journey, every time I listened to the call of the Spirit in my life with great attentiveness I feel a deep longing to continue to listen. That is to listen to His voice more and more. Nouwen believes that as we discover our being Beloved of God, we realize that we are also chosen. To be chosen is to see that God has seen me in a special way. It is not that I am better than the others. It does not mean that I exclude others.
Nouwen continues to say that we are also blessed. As a child of God, I am called to be His beloved and chosen to discover this blessedness. This discovery will be aided by prayer and having an attentive presence that surrounds me every moment of the day.
Do I notice being blessed and feel gratitude without being caught up in the busyness of my everyday life?
Third, as bread is taken and blessed it is also to be broken. All of us are called to claim our brokenness. That is our brokenness is a step forward opening us to our full acceptance of ourselves as God’s beloved. As I grow older, I realized that the joy of life is hidden in the fact that I am broken so that my life can be given for others.
As St. Francis would put it in, it is in giving that we receive. All of us are called to be bread for each other and to be bread for the world. That is my little life will multiply itself in giving…to be a gift for others.
The Rev. Isaias Ginson is priest of The Episcopal Church. He is currently priest in charge of the Episcopal church of St. Margaret’s in Plainview, NY.