Last August, Francis commented on the famous ‘Bread of Life’ discourse narrated in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Saint John.
The rich theological substance of this passage has always nourished the faith of Eucharistic adorers and inspired a greater understanding of the immense gift that Christ left us in the Sacrament of the Altar. Moreover, the profundity of these words of Christ was the point of departure for essential doctrinal considerations regarding the Eucharist. The unanimous consideration of this pronouncement as a prefigure of the Sacrament of the Altar, generated a treasury of commentaries made by popes, saints and doctors of the Church, founded on the clear and captivating words of Jesus: ‘I am the bread of life come down from heaven.’
The Protestants, on the other hand, make all kinds of efforts to interpret the words proclaimed by our Redeemer in the synagogue of Capharnaum as a ‘metaphor’ that alludes to his imminent death. Could it be because they do not wish to nourish themselves and adore Jesus truly present in this great Sacrament? Within the scope of the study at hand, we will not specifically examine this problem, though there is much that could be said about the unhappiness of those who close their eyes so as not to recognize that Christ is really present in the consecrated host.
However, here we shall deal with an even more worrisome question. Why does Francis, the man who should instruct the flock of the Lord, omit any reference to the Eucharist when he comments on this discourse? Could there possibly be a more necessary topic for the good of the faithful, than the Real Presence in the Sacred Species, especially in the context of the Gospel of Saint John?
Why does Francis depart from the tradition of the Catholic Church when, as we shall see, he makes Protestant interpretations his own? Could it be that in his opinion the writings of the innumerable Catholic authors who explain the true doctrine contained in these verses lack solid arguments? Be that as it may, such writings do exist, are very clear, and our readers may peruse them here in order to better judge this important matter. Read on…