Week 5 Day 3: Nurtured and Sustained by Love

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
John 6:51

Nurtured and Sustained by Love
Jesus keeps giving us – like our daily bread – food, nourishment for the soul, which is indeed himself.

-Br. Luke Ditewig


Our theme this week is learning to sustain a relationship of love. To abide in Jesus as he abides in us. And we’re asking, what does it take to sustain an intimate relationship?

(In) today’s verse, Jesus says, “I am the living bread which comes down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. And the bread that I give for the life of the world is my flesh.” To sustain a relationship, Jesus keeps offering us himself, and invites us to feed on his nourishment. Consider eating. It’s something we do every day, it’s something our bodies need over and over again. And Jesus keeps giving us – like our daily bread – food, nourishment for the soul, which is indeed himself. This relates certainly to the Eucharist, where God is present. But it’s also beyond that. God gives us himself, in the silence of our hearts, in companionship with friends, in the richness of scripture.

How is Jesus feeding, nourishing you? And like your eating, it’s something every day. So how are you being nourished each day by Jesus? And not just a “run and go.” But stop to savor the nourishment that is provided. And this is communal. Eat with others. Share food. Enjoy it together. This is a common journey. Daily, savoring with others, Jesus’ offering his own self to you, for nourishment. How will you feed on Jesus today?

We invite you to share your answer in the comments below or using #MeetingJesus


  1. Richard Cawley on April 3, 2021 at 08:52

    Each day I am nourished by you and your brothers in the various online programs! Thanks.

  2. Julie Reisner on March 21, 2021 at 13:06

    It is March 21, 2021, and I want to thank you, SSJE, for this wonderful offering in print and video. You truly bless my life each day.
    I came across a video on Mt. Athos, by Bob Simon, so visually and spiritually stunning and humbling, including the very briefest glimpse of centuries-old icons from their vault. At one point, in response to a question concerning balancing daily activities and prayer the Brother responded, “What makes you think I am not praying now?” and he went on to explain that prayer is constant, the Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The video then filmed many other Brothers at work on icons, making bread, pruning vines, cooking, their lips constantly moving. This was a turning point in my life.

  3. Jeanne DeFazio on February 9, 2019 at 15:16

    I feel the presence of Jesus in silence before Him. My recent stay at St John’s Monastery in Cambridge gave me that gift. No prayers just feeling he is there in the stillness. Thanks for your reflection.

  4. Mary Anderson on March 28, 2018 at 09:44

    So how are you being nourished each day by Jesus?
    During this Lenten season, the thing that I do most is take time to read, think and respond to each reflection of the ministry to bring myself into a deeper relationship with Christ. I set a side time each day to pray when I get up and to pray when I go to bed.
    I try to follow in Jesus’ footsteps as best as I can and pray for courage to be better at sharing his word with others. After the Palm Sunday service I made crosses out of the palms and took them to the Soup Kitchen our church hosts. I handed them to the patrons and said, “God loves you”. It was renewing to hear Jesus answer back through the patrons “God loves you.”

  5. Carol Niemand on March 22, 2018 at 02:10

    Jesus gives me words to put down in my journal deach day. When I do this and go back, I can see that I am making progress along the path he has set out for me to follow even with a few detours along the way.

  6. Dorothy Wilson on March 21, 2018 at 01:28

    I try to do the daily office and get my nourishment from Jesus by reading the psalms, lessons and prayers. I love being a server and chalice administrator, offering and saying these words this is the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ pour out in love for all of us

  7. PAMELA ANN QUARSTEIN on March 20, 2018 at 03:45

    O F F E R
    Jesus O ffers himself as
    F ood and nourishment for life
    F orever
    E ucharist is a place where God is always present
    R emember to share with others this joy.

  8. Jos on March 18, 2018 at 01:52

    Thank you, Brother Luke, for your sensitive, thought provoking meditations. I came to today’s verse and did not feel much in it, but your talk was both inspiring and challenging. A new perspective on eating Jesus’ flesh. So thank you. I’m only sorry that you have only 3 medtations in this series and we have now had them all, but thank you for those.

  9. Jennifer A on March 17, 2018 at 19:04

    I work as a church musician, so although I am at church a lot, the “job” aspect of it necessarily divides my attention. I “offer up” or deny myself, in a way, some of the benefits of simply being present in worship so that others’ worship may be enhanced by my work. I do have a centering prayer practice, and follow the daily meditations of Richard Rohr and the SSJE, and this program, which help keep me from falling off the rails. I used to go to the Tuesday night Eucharists in Cambridge but my work schedule has made that very difficult. Even then, it was a bit hard not really knowing anyone (except the organist!). I’ve since discovered a colleague who faces similar challenges, and since he makes it a point to go every week, i’m going to try to get my lazy self together and make time for it. As someone once said, you can’t be a Christian by yourself.

  10. Mary on March 16, 2018 at 20:10

    Every morning, I sit with a cup of coffee and spend time with Jesus. These are literally the best hours of my day. The time includes reading (or listening) to scripture and writing in my prayer journal. I pour out to him everything that is on my heart. His messages come to me through scripture or most often that still small voice of the Holy Spirit. If I go a few days without his input I am lost. I adopted this daily habit when I had “terminal” cancer over 30 years ago, which in hindsight was one of those blessings in disguise. It took years to become disciplined to this habit, and now I can’t imagine living without it.

  11. David John Drew on March 16, 2018 at 07:27

    O God, Manna of Heaven

    In the mystical transformation of the bread and wine in the service of communion – you change something ordinary, mundane and infuse it with your body, your sacred presence – you give yourself as spiritual food to nourish your people. I feel that this is a gift of such sublime grace that I cannot measure it. It is thus, that whenever I am asked if I have ever seen God, I can say, emphatically, yes! In the bread and wine of the Eucharist, I see, touch, feel and taste your Divine presence. I come to you alone to give myself wholly to you, but the moment that I take that bread and wine – you give yourself to me – and we are united, as one together – I in you and you in me.

    Lord God, let me not be so arrogant and touched by pride that I begin to think that Communion is for me alone, but allow me to participate in this holy ritual on behalf of others. Lord, whatever benefits that I might receive from the Eucharist, I request that they be given to others that cannot or will not come to you. I willingly sacrifice my desires and give whatever I am pleased to receive to others – that they may also come to know and find joy in you.

    Fruit of the Vine;
    Blood of Life,
    Sacred Manna;
    Bread Divine.
    Your Being
    Melts within
    A symbiosis…
    Of Love –
    In One…

    + Amen

    Pax Christi – David

  12. James on March 14, 2018 at 21:05

    I will feed on Jesus today through song. As I was browsing the internet this morning I came upon the lyrics to the song by Chris Tomlin, entitled “I Will Rise”. As I listened to it and read the lyrics, tears came to my eyes. It is such a beautiful song. I sing and accompany myself on guitar and today I will teach myself this song by Chris Tomlin and praise the Lord as He fills my heart with His inspired Word. Here are a sample of the lyrics:

    There’s a peace I’ve come to know
    Though my heart and flesh may fail
    There’s an anchor for my soul
    I can say “It is well”

    Jesus has overcome
    And the grave is overwhelmed
    The victory is won
    He is risen from the dead

    And I will rise when He calls my name
    No more sorrow, no more pain
    I will rise on eagles’ wings
    Before my God fall on my knees
    And rise
    I will rise

  13. Kelly on March 14, 2018 at 05:46

    Today Jesus feed me through the movie “A Wrinkle in Time”. It’s listed as a fantasy adventure, but my friend and I felt a Christian message was in the movie. Several scenes in the movie (evil is darkness, love is light) brought me back to our Lenten study of love, light and trust. Week 1, day 6 Love that casts out fear is something to remember if you watch the movie. Thank you Jesus for nourishing my friends and I today at lunch and the movie.

  14. Margaret Dungan on March 13, 2018 at 20:27

    I want to Thank you Br. Luke for your words to day midway through this course, you have changed my way of thinking.
    I said at the outset that I would not be participating in the in the discussions by e-mails as it would be for me a distraction from the meditation. However, you have changed my mind. I probably, especially need this opportunity, as I have a hearing problem, which despite hearing aids,prevents me now from participating in discussion groups lectures or hearing sermons. My resource is found in reading which is a great resource but of course it is of my choosing!
    Thank you Keith also for your words.

  15. Margaret Dungan on March 13, 2018 at 20:04

    Br. Luke. You have opened my eyes in a special way to-day. At the outset of this course I said that I would not be joining in the discussions through e-mails that to do so would be a distraction that I needed to focus on the message. Your words have made me see that this is a community that I need if anything,more than many others.
    I have a hearing loss that ,despite hearing aids, prevents me now from hearing sermons or from participating in discussion groups and that this program gives me the opportunity to listen and learn and as Keith has said to “share God’s love with others”

    Margaret Dungan

    • Cass on March 14, 2018 at 19:28

      Margaret, Thank you for posting. I was inspired by your honesty and courage because sharing with others–esp. the things we have made up our minds about or things we hide for shame–is what we are made to do and yet it is still so difficult. Bless you.

  16. Terry Dykstra on March 13, 2018 at 19:09

    I love your reminder that we need more than “run and go” nourishment. We need time to sit down and really savour our spiritual (and physical) food.

  17. Bryan Cook on March 13, 2018 at 18:35

    This Lenten journey and the morning break-fast served by the Brothers is my daily spritual nourisment, followed by prayer and meditation through poetic composition. My prayers have been altered by this process in wonderful ways; I am taking the time to listen deeply. I reread the thoughtful, insightful and heartfelt contributions of our fellow travellers. Daily, I feel revived. I also think that there is a place for “run and go”, prayer throughout the day is fast food that keeps my going and helps me deal with the immeadiate and the unexpected.Sunday is communal communal nourishment; the eucharist, a feast.

    • Mary on March 16, 2018 at 20:23

      During the day, I seek to do what I call “interstitial” prayer, instead of “run-and-go” prayer. Run-and-go implies that you’re multitasking, and when you multitask you cannot focus. Instead, I look for (or make!) tiny pauses in my day (the interstitials) where I can be completely focused with my prayer.

  18. Susan on March 13, 2018 at 17:28

    I need to feed on the flesh of Jesus to heal my own body and mind.

    • james on March 15, 2018 at 06:55

      Susan, please do not forget to use the medical and mental health services in regaining and maintaining your physical and mental health because these sciences are also the gifts of God.

  19. Wendy Steeves on March 13, 2018 at 16:49

    Sharing the Eucharist in my monthly ecumenical contemplative prayer group is one way today that I will savor the gift of Christ’s nourishment.

  20. John David Spangler on March 13, 2018 at 15:49

    This is a most insightful meditation. Brother Luke begins by reminding us that to sustain our relationship with Him, with God, “Jesus keeps offering us himself, and invites us to feed on his nourishment”. We do not earn it; the sustaining of our relationship is a gift. All we need to do is to accept it. Archbishop Temple in his “Readings In St. John’s Gospel” wrote: “. . . let us be sure that the knowledge of God on which we rely is that which reaches us through Jesus, the Word of God made flesh . . . ‘He that believeth on me hath eternal Life.’ The Life of faith does not earn eternal Life; it is eternal Life.” As Brother Luke reminds us: “Jesus keeps giving us — like our daily bread — food, nourishment for the soul, which is indeed himself.” The words of Brother Luke in this meditation are wise words. They should be kept in our minds, prominently kept. I also recommend reading the Archbishop’s book to all who are “meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John.

  21. Keith Aldred on March 13, 2018 at 14:07

    Help us all Lord to share your love for us with others. May we be there for them.

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