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What is the Spiritual Significance of Bread?

Bread was mentioned in the bible at least 492 times.

A warm and soft bread is more than just food that we eat for breakfast or merienda. It has been part of our lives that holds a spiritual significance many of us may not know or remember.

When Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, God punished Adam to work and sweat for bread. This emphasized the importance of growing grain for food to survive. Our hunger also serves as a reminder that we rely on God, who created food. When mankind learned how to make bread, they began preparing and eating it in different ways!

There are other deeper meanings on the spiritual significance of bread. Interested to know more about it? Read on! (Read: Pope: Grandparents, elderly are bread that nourishes our life)

Spiritual significance of bread: Loaves and fishes

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The Miracle of the Five Loaves and Two Fishes, ca 1590. Found in the Collection of Art History Museum, Vienne. (Photo from Heritage Image Partnership Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

Many Catholics are probably familiar with the Feeding of the Five Thousand, also known as “miracle of the five loaves and two fish,” where Jesus used five loaves and two fish supplied by a boy to feed a multitude. The bread symbolizes the unconditional love and compassion of Jesus. In John 6:35, 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.” Bread became a sign of sharing and provision, again. Another symbolism of bread, which is also an important spiritual significance of bread, is the Word of God, which nourished the thousands spiritually.

Spiritual significance of bread: Life and salvation

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The Last Supper (Photo from Jben Arts)

Bread is a sustenance for the body, Jesus offers spiritual bread that feeds our spiritual lives. It brings our souls to life and provides a way to salvation. During the Last Supper, Jesus took the unleavened bread and broke it to “symbolize His broken body and His death on the cross on our behalf.” The breaking of the bread signifies the power in communion and the presence of Jesus. (Read: Why Do We Offer Bread to St. Anthony of Padua?)

Spiritual significance of bread: Daily bread

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The devil, in opposition to the will of God, represents evil and tempts Christ, the personification of the character and will of God. Ary Scheffer, 1854. (Photo from Wikipedia)

The spiritual significance of bread also came from the Lord’s Prayer or Our Father that Jesus shared with us. It includes the words, “give us this day our daily bread,” which implies a request for both our essential needs and for Jesus. In Matthew 4:3, Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, to which he replied, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” It gives us the strength to resist temptations.

Spiritual significance of bread: Forgiveness

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The Resurrection of Christ, Alonso López de Herrera [es], c. 1625 (Photo from Wikipedia)

We all know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which means the House of Bread. In Hebrew alphanumerically, it also implies nativity, the occasion of a person’s birth. Jesus, the bread of life, symbolizes God forgiving our sins and giving us freedom and eternal life. When we pray to God to “give us this day our daily bread,” we are asking for His provision and that “He come and fill us with His everlasting grace.” (Read: 4 Favorite Dishes of St. Francis of Assisi That You Can Cook At Home)

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