Fr. Serg Kabamalan, CJM
I am the bread of life who came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever. We eat to live. By eating, we affirm our part and participation in the great cosmic process of energy conversion from one form into another.
This reminds me of my Physics professor in college who believed that God is energy. I no longer recall what was the topic that day, and how it prompted him to make the claim. I do remember that we were all reduced to silence, perhaps either in unholy fear at his overwhelming mastery of the field or in awe of the same in our sophomoric state of mind! No one dared ask a question or an explanation. We were just dumbfounded and reeling in what was stated to be a self-evident fact.
But If we do take a break from our traditional vocabulary of our conception of God, and indulge ourselves in the view that God indeed is energy, what insights can we get from our Gospel this Sunday? After all, there seems to be conceptual congruence between God and energy. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Isn’t it that God is the uncreated and eternal reality, the principle of creation and destination of all? Let us then dare draw some inference:
- Jesus, who identifies himself as Bread of Life, in a sense identifies himself as the energy that drives life, sustains, and directs it. It occurs in human history, therefore, in the physical realm. However, it is ordered toward what is not of this world, far beyond the realm of Moses’ manna (which merely sated the physical hunger but did not prevent death). The energy that is Jesus vivifies and gives life for all eternity, as the energy himself (Jesus) is eternal.
- As energy, Jesus becomes part of the person who believes in him, and accepts him. As the energy envelopes and infuses our humanity, he becomes part of us and we become part of him. Becoming part of the mystical Body of Christ is thereby more vivid and clear.
- The “eating” of the Bread of Life as energy avoids cannibalistic overtones, as it is no longer just consuming the flesh of our own kind. Although Jesus embraced our humanity, he also united it with his Divinity. The flesh he offers is greater than what is merely human flesh. Jesus’ flesh stands for the totality of himself, God-man, as gift of life to anyone who would receive him. Hence, the feeding of Divine Energy brings the believer to fullness of life that lifts up human life to transcend its natural end (death). Jesus as energy converts and transforms, and engenders a new creation in us (2 Cor 5:17).
May the Energy be with you!