“O Bread of Life from Heaven”

Our communion hymn this Sunday is “O Bread of Life from Heaven.” This title will, no doubt, remind you of our Gospel reading for this Sunday, and last Sunday as well! Our lectionary (the set of readings the Church follows for Sunday morning worship) has us working through the “Bread of Life” sections of St. John’s Gospel. In our Gospel, Jesus says He is the Bread of Life. In other words, He is the source and sustenance of our life. He gives Himself to us entirely through Word and Sacrament. And He feeds us with Himself in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, given for the forgiveness of our sins.

Knowing that Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life, let us, then, meditate on this hymn. I invite you to ponder these words and moreover to ponder the glorious mystery of Our Lord’s gracious providence as we meet Him at the Altar this Sunday:

1 O Bread of life from heaven,
O Food to pilgrims given,
O Manna from above:
Feed with the blessed sweetness
Of your divine completeness
The souls that want and need your love.

2 O Fount of grace redeeming,
O River ever streaming
From Jesus’ wounded side:
Come now, your love bestowing
On thirsting souls, and flowing
Till all are fully satisfied.

3 We love you, Jesus, tender,
In all your hidden splendor
Within these means of grace.
Oh, let the veil be riven,
And our clear eye in heaven
Behold your glory face to face.

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