The above title makes one wonder – doesn’t it? Well, those words were expressed to me recently when I was baking Christmas tree breads for the family.
It’s a full day’s project with mixing the dough, kneading it and then setting it in a warm place to rise. It doesn’t end there either! The filling needs to be mixed and then spread out upon the dough, shaping it into Christmas trees and then you guessed it! More risings! No wonder, I was told that “I smelled like bread!”
“I smelled like bread!” got me pondering! It brought me back to the words of Pope Francis regarding our priests and the word “smell!” He had urged our priests to be “shepherds with the smell of sheep.” Pope Francis said pastors should be “people capable of living, or laughing and crying with your people, in a word, of communicating with them.”
Once again, think about those four little words – “I smelled like bread!”
Smelling Like Bread
Well – shouldn’t I smell like bread? Not because I was baking “Christmas tree breads” but because “I feed and am nourished” on the Eucharistic Bread every time I attend Holy Mass or “adore” Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament whether it before a Tabernacle or a Monstrance. Instead of wearing a designer perfume, wouldn’t I want to wear “Jesus?” If I’m wearing it well, wouldn’t I be attracting others to smell like bread? Wouldn’t they want to know about Jesus and smell like Him? I would imagine the name of the fragrance would be called “LOVE.”
Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John – Chapter 6:51
“I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
Further down in that scripture passage, Jesus tells us the following in verses 55-56:
“for my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.”
The above scripture passages validates “smelling like bread” because that is the “Eucharistic Bread” that we eat at every Celebration of the Holy Mass.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla tells us the following – “Our body is a cenacle, a monstrance: through its crystal the world should see God.”
And I would add humbly to those words that we should “smell” like Him as well.
A fragrant incense of “love” pouring out from our bodies because we have “Him living within us.“
Lamb of God
Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem which means “House of Bread,” and placed in a manger in a cave. He was and is the “Sacrificial Lamb of God.”
Last week I was given a “better understanding” in a homily given at Sunday Mass regarding the kind of “shepherds” that came to adore and pay homage to the Child Jesus. They were called “Levitical Shepherds” because they had been chosen and trained to attend the flock of sheep that were to be used as sacrificial lambs in the Temple. The sacrificial lambs had to be “spotless and without blemish.” Special treatment would have to be given to their sheep.
When the mother ewe was ready to give birth, she was taken to a special place or to a cave designated to specifically give birth to these sacrificial lambs. We were told during this homily, that the lambs were wrapped in “swaddling clothes” which were bandage like strips that were taken from the Temple to protect them from any kind of blemish. The “levitical shepherds” knew where these caves were but the “Star” guided them to the specific cave where Jesus was lying in the manger wrapped in swaddling clothes.
I had never heard of this accounting before and was so moved by it in regard to the kind of shepherds that were chosen to receive the message from the Angels.
They were “chosen” to be the “first adorers” of the “Living Bread” come down from Heaven after the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph.
They would be followed by the visit of the Three Wise Men bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They came to kneel before a “King” who would make the ultimate sacrifice of His life upon a Cross but who would promise that He would be with us until the end of time.
The Promise of All Time
In John’s Gospel, Jesus makes this promise to us in Chapter 6:57-58:
“As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live forever.”
Called to Adore Him
We are told by St. John Henry Newman:
“He is not past, He is present now.
And though He is not seen, he is here.
The same God who walked the water,
who did miracles, etc.,
is in the Tabernacle.
We come before Him, we speak to Him
just as He was spoken to . . .years ago.”
He and I
One of my favorite go-to books is the conversations between “Jesus and Gabrielle Bossis” in the book “He and I.”
Here Jesus speaks to Gabrielle but He also speaks to us in the “now.”
Hear Him now. . .speaking to you directly in this moment. . .and inviting you. . .
“I always make My home among you. You see My house – the tabernacle? I wait for all of you. In the world you have a day “at home” when you receive guests. Every day is an “at home” for Me. And nothing is lacking in My home; you know that, don’t you? Neither the banquet, nor the Spirit, nor the affection, nor the gifts of My graces, and you don’t have to wait to be received. I am the One who waits. I know some who have never come. I don’t mean who have never come to My feet to confess their sins; I mean that they have never even come to greet Me.
Others come for certain ceremonies, but without the slightest thought that I am there waiting for them. They leave as they entered. Nothing in them has been stirred. My eyes follow them sadly . . .with My sadness of Gethsemane. . .
You who come every day to My house, speak to Me for them – so that before they come for the last time carried in a coffin, they will give Me their living bodies, their faculties, their entire being. With what warmth I shall receive them and respond to their trust.”
In one of the other passages from the book, Gabrielle is looking at preparations for Christmas and expresses the following to Jesus:
“Thank you Lord.
How could You come down to earth,
knowing that You were going to suffer so much?”
“And if I had not come down,
should I have had the joy of instituting My Eucharist
where I remain right to the end of the centuries?”
O Come Let Us Adore Him!
Christ the Lord in 2023!
Let us be “Stirred” with Love!
©2023 Anita Guariglia
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Jerusalem Bible Quotes from John 6:57-58
He and I – Gabrielle Bossis