To look at the significance of bread as a symbol
in the Bible
To appreciate the opportunity of receiving Jesus in Holy Communion
Bread, unconsecrated host
1. Good morning.
Today's assembly is about bread.
God's way is like this: a woman took some yeast and mixed it into a lot
of flour and all the flour rose.
2. Bread which human hands have made is
important to us. Hardly a day goes by when we do not eat bread. This is
why Jesus chose bread to stand for his body at the Last Supper.
Bread is good for us. It has a lot of the vitamins and minerals we need
to live well.
Bread makes us strong.
3. In the Bible, bread is often mentioned
when God is making someone strong, someone who was once weak or afraid.
For example, the story of Moses. When Moses led the Israelites out of
Egypt, into the wilderness, the people grew hungry. They complained to
ISRAELITES: It would have been better for us to die in Egypt,
when we had bowls of meat and ate our fill of bread. For you have
brought us out into this wilderness to kill all of us with hunger.
3. When God heard this, he sent down bread
from heaven. It fell to the ground like rain. The bread was flat and
tasted like wafers made with honey. Its name was manna. Whenever the
Israelites were hungry, God sent down this manna. This gave the
Israelites the strength to continue their long journey, to a new land
promised to them by God.
4. Every year, the Jews celebrated the day
that Moses had led them out of Egypt, where they had been slaves. They
used to do this at a meal called the Passover meal. This meal was a
5. The Last Supper that Jesus ate before
he was crucified was a Passover meal. He was about to journey into his
Promised Land. On this day of unleavened bread, when the Passover lamb
was to be sacrificed, Jesus said to two of his disciples,
JESUS: Go into the city and prepare the
Passover feast, so that we may eat.
5. Later in the evening, Jesus sat down
with the twelve Apostles. He said to them,
JESUS: How greatly I have desired to eat
this Passover meal with you before I suffer.
For I tell you, I will not eat another until it is given its full
meaning in the Kingdom of God.
5. As they were eating, Jesus took bread
and blessed it, and breaking it into pieces he gave it to them saying,
JESUS: Take - eat - this is my body, which
is given for you. Do this in memory of me.
6. Although the Apostles did not realise
it straight away, Jesus was giving them the strength to face the fact
that he was about to die. He was preparing them for the shock of his
departure. When he broke the bread and shared it out, he was saying
that he was really giving them his body, his life.
7. When Jesus was then crucified, his
followers were afraid and did not know what to do. God gave them the
strength to carry on, again using bread as a sign.
On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead. As he was walking along the
road, he met two of his disciples. They were so sad they did not
recognise him. When evening came, they stopped for a meal. As he sat
eating with them, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to
them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew who he was by the
breaking of the bread. His followers were learning that he was alive
and this gave them the strength to carry on the task of teaching others
8. Every time we go to Mass, we have the
chance of eating the Bread of Life, when we consume the Host. Jesus
JESUS: I am the living bread which came
down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.
8. This means that if we go to Communion,
we receive the strength to try to live like Jesus did. This is a
wonderful chance, which we gained when Jesus died for us. It would be
foolish and ungrateful not to take it.
We will remember this as we say the Lord's Prayer. Our Father...
We will now sing "Eat this Bread" from Taize. (Hymns Old and New number