Jesus has told the people that he is the bread of life, the bread that has come down from heaven. Many people rejected his teaching; it seemed impossible to accept. They knew who Jesus was, and where he came from. How could he make such an outrageous claim?
Jesus replies to his opponents that no one can come to him unless they have been ‘taught by God.’ Only faith allows us to believe in Jesus and accept his teaching; and faith is a gift that we receive from God the Father. The Father draws us to believe in his Son. This is what it means to be taught by God.
When we gather to celebrate Mass, we begin by confessing our sins and asking God’s forgiveness. Then we listen to the Word of God, before we receive Holy Communion. We have to repent – allow God to change our hearts – and be taught by God’s living Word, and then we are ready to welcome the Son of God, really present to us under the appearance of bread and wine. Our celebration is not complete unless we receive both the Word of Life and the Bread of Life. To those who receive him in faith, Jesus promises eternal life.