A reflection by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.
We hear Jesus say in the Gospel according to John: “Amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.”(Jn 6:32) And what do the people reply? “Sir give us this bread always.” (Jn 6:34) Well, the true monk desires to live under an abbot, or an abbess, in order to receive this true bread. For Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” (Jn 6:35)
In a monastery, it is the abbot who gives the bread in season. And what is that bread? Christ says: “I am the bread of life.” It is the giving of Christ to one another. We too must be Eucharistic. We too must be willing to give an example of Christ. And therefore it says in the Rule of St. Benedict, that the seniors are to love their juniors. Why? They have learned what love is. They should know by now what it truly means to love. And it means to lay down one’s life.
Each of us must become the bread of life for one another because we are an alter Christi. We receive Christ in the Eucharist together every single morning. And by the end we should become a loaf that can be broken.