O Little Town of ‘House of Bread’ how still we see thee lie …

Cindy Brewer

Jesus gave the Bread of Life discourse in the  Capernaum synagogue announcing that He was the Bread of Life (Jn 6: 22-71). Although manna came down from the ‘heavens’ when the dew fell, Jesus announced, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven” (Jn 6:32).

You know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the city of David, 2,000 years ago, but did you know that the old Hebrew for Bethlehem means House of Bread, from bêth (house) and lehem (bread)?

Since Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, was from the line of David, he and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem to be counted in the Roman Empire’s census.

While there, the time came to give birth to Jesus—Emmanuel, “God is with us.”

Since there was no room for them in the inn, they found shelter in a stable, where animals were kept.

You know the story, “While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger….”

The manger was a feeding trough that held hay for the cattle and other barn animals. The word manger means “to eat or to chew.”

At the Last Supper, Jesus gave His disciples the “true bread from heaven” (Jn. 6:32), His Body and Blood under the appearance of bread and wine. He then commanded His disciples to do “this” in remembrance of Him.

Although Jesus ascended to Heaven after His resurrection, His parting words to His disciples were, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt. 28:20).

Jesus was departing, yet He also intended to remain with His disciples from then, to now, and forever. He does so through His Real Presence in the Eucharist—His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity under the appearance of Bread and wine.

His Church, following the example of Jesus’ disciples, has followed Christ’s  command for 2,000 years—since the Last Supper.

Come Let Us Adore Him!

Merry, Blessed Christmas!