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“Bread of Life”
Photo: Mauro Bighin
At a young age, I learned to make bread by watching Aunt Chepa on those cold Chilean winters. We would arrive at her home and the sweet aroma of the milk-diluted yeast would guide us to her roomy kitchen. She would say that the yeast needed to ferment for a couple of minutes before beginning the process of the dough. It was true. As I would look at the bowl, I could see that the yeast submerged in the milk would start to make bubbles.

My aunt had a special table that Grandpa Miguel had constructed for her out of high-quality hardwood from the southern tip of the country. And there, she would assemble the following ingredients:

8 cups of flour
A piece of yeast with a little bit of milk, melted
1 stick of vegetable shortening
2 level teaspoons of salt
2 cups of warm water

My Aunt Chepa’s hands expertly gathered the dry ingredients first, making a pile. She would create a hole in the center of the pile, and in it, she would add the wet ingredients, making sure that no liquid would escape from the sides. She would quickly mix the ingredients, managing to create a smooth and soft dough that she would place in a covered container.

My Turn to Get in on the Action

In my mind’s eye, I can see my aunt’s hands taking that dough, separating it into pieces and kneading it over and over, until the desired consistency was reached. She would fashion peach-sized balls of dough and would place them on one side of the table. When all of the dough was converted into little balls, Aunt Chepa would press down on them, creating round discs about ½ an inch thick. Then, it was my turn to get in on the action!

My job was to take a fork and poke them three times, put them on the baking sheet by threes, until we reached a dozen. She would say that those little puncture marks would prevent the bread from over-inflating. Once the first batch entered the oven, we all knew that in half an hour, the bread would be ready.

To open them and feel the delicious and steamy vapor on my face was an incredible life experience, full of indescrible joy. To see the chunks of butter melt at the slightest contact with the bread is something every human being should experience at least once in their lives!

Jesus is our Bread. He invites us to His home, let’s us feel the unmistakable vapor of His grace and allows us to be filled with peace and love.  He comes to us to nurture us, to satisfy our needs and invites us to celebrate the joy of the eternal Gospel, with Him, at His table.

Allow yourself to be filled with the Bread of Life and along with Him, permeate the lives of those around with His goodness.

“I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever” (John 6:35).

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By Chari Torres. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from The Message ®, 2002.

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