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xi. Signs and Wonders - Bread


Old English, bread ‘bit, crumb, morsel; bread,’ Old English breotan ‘to break in pieces’.

Lives from a Country Town


The woman in the bakery

has eyes like empty cake tins

her skin the colour

of dough before baking

the bread slicer ate her thumb and

she has cooked all of her fingers

over and over again

her spirit drained into 20 years

of getting yeast to rise

yet every day the town eats up

all that she can make.

Jeff Guess


"The Council of Trent (1545-1563) summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: 'Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."

This is the doctrine of Transubstantiation in the Roman Catholic Church and I personally have always thought it very potent but only as a metaphor and have always preferred the very powerful symbolic meaning that I believe Jesus meant when as in Matthew’s gospel: ‘While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” He is in fact speaking out of the wonderful tradition of Passover to his own impeding death. His body broken, that saves us to life, and the bread broken in fellowship with one another.

Reading: St. John 6: 35

Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’. NIV


Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,

As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;

Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;

My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word!

Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me,

Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me;

Give me to eat and live with Thee above;

Teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love.

Mary A. Lathbury, 1877

©Jeff Guess 2017

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