Friends, today’s Gospel comes from the bread of life discourse: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” What God has wanted from the beginning is to sit down with his creatures in a fellowship banquet, sharing life and laughter, giving and receiving and giving back again. This is the loop of grace that I’ve often spoken of. The more we receive the divine life, the more we should give it away and thereby get more of it.

Throughout the Old Testament, we find images of the holy banquet. On God’s holy mountain, Isaiah says, there will be good meats and pure, choice wines. And throughout his ministry, Jesus hosts meals to which all are invited. God wants to share his life with us.

This comes to full expression in the Eucharist, when Jesus identifies himself so radically with the bread and the wine that they change into his Body and Blood, and then he invites all of us around this table to feast and share life, to give and receive and give again.