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Health of Body and Soul Session II

While the previous session focused on health of body, this session will focus on health of soul, again using the illustration of bread to make the point.

For this session, you will need the bread or dough from Session 1; and for each camper: bibles, or copies of the below scriptural excerpts, and Bread of Life Handout containing liturgical/Eucharistic prayers.

Session breakdown:
Introduction (2 minutes)
Bake the bread
Discussion: Breaking Bread (5-10 minutes)
Scriptural Reflections: Bread of Life (10-15 minutes)
Activity: the Eucharist (10-15 minutes)
To Sum Up and Challenge (2-3 minutes)

From this session, campers will take home an illustration of the Eucharist and Christ as the Bread of Life through the bread that they made and scriptural and liturgical references to Christ the bread of life.

State the following in your own words: We will continue using some of the themes we encountered this morning. We made the bread and talked about our bodily health, but we also learned that there is something more that we need: spiritual health.

Bake the Bread: After the bread from the previous session has had enough time to rise, about 30 minutes, put it in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or golden brown. Check the bread after 10 minutes in the oven, poking holes along sides where the prosphoro has started to separate around the edges.

Discussion: Breaking Bread
In the last session, we used bread, often a symbol of life and sustenance, to discuss the health and nourishment of our bodies. We will again use bread as a way to examine the health of our souls.

Later on, either at dinner tonight or at Liturgy tomorrow, we will all break bread together. From the earliest times, breaking bread is one of the most intimate ways to have fellowship and community with each other. Breaking bread means sharing a meal together.

Think about the last time you "broke bread" with someone. This doesn't have to literally be bread. This could be any type of food or meal. What are some of the things that you enjoy most about breaking bread with others? Allow the campers to share answers, perhaps that it is joyous, united, caring, etc.

This kind of fellowship, of talking and communing over a meal, is a beautiful event that nourishes our soul. We need fellowship and communion with others to stay healthy in a spiritual sense.

Scriptural Reflection: Bread of Life
While everyone is gathered together, have someone volunteer to read the "bread of life" passage from the Gospel of John.

Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' " Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always."

And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?" Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven--not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever." These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.        John 6:28-39, 47-59

Discussion Questions:
Jesus calls Himself the bread of life. We've spent the sessions today learning about bread, which represents sustenance and nourishment. What does Jesus mean when He identifies Himself with bread?
How is Jesus our ultimate sustenance, our "bread of life?"
What are practical everyday ways that Jesus Christ is our "bread?"
What does Jesus mean when He says we eat His flesh and drink His blood? Communion/Eucharist

Activity: The Eucharist
Pass out a copy of the Bread of Life Prayers to each camper. Divide campers into four small groups. Each small group will examine one of the four prayers on the handout. Campers should investigate these prayers looking for the "bread of life" theme. Or, if you prefer, you may go through some or all of the prayers together as a large a group. Some questions to look for are listed below. Look for themes of what the Eucharist does to us and for us, such as nourishing, saving, makes us God's habitation, etc.

  • What is this prayer all about?
  • According to this prayer, how is Christ our "bread of life," our nourishment?
  • What kind of nourishing powers does the Eucharist have?
  • Why is the Eucharist so powerful?

To Sum Up and Challenge
Today we've enjoyed our bread and the fellowship of breaking bread together. While baking this bread, we've discussed the ultimate bread of life, Jesus Christ, and how He nourishes us through the Eucharist, His body and blood. We will offer this bread to Him in the Liturgy to be transformed into a spiritual nourishment for us: the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a bread even more powerful than everyday bread and food because it nourishes our bodies and our souls.

I challenge all of us here to start looking at our own spiritual nourishment. Are we caring for our spiritual health as much as we care for our physical health? Are we seeking Christ to let Him be our bread, our nourishment? I challenge us to take these prayers and read them before and after we receive Communion each Sunday. They will remind us of the nourishing power of Christ, and the power of what we just consumed.

Don't forget to remove the bread from the oven when it's done!