Baking bread is one of the most beautiful human activities. True, it’s a humble activity that usually takes place out of the limelight. Bakers don’t get the same adulation we give to famous musicians, athletes, or politicians (though baking shows do have dedicated fans).
Yet baking bread offers deep insight into what it means to be human. Here’s what we mean.
Baking bread reveals the image of God within you.
In Genesis 1:26, we read about God creating the first man and woman: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’”
We have the image of God stamped upon our nature primarily through our intellect and will. And we reveal this image by becoming subcreators.
What does that mean?
God alone can create in the truest sense of the word. To create means to make from nothing. We can’t do that, but we can still take the material God has created and make completely new things. In this we imitate God. We take the simple resources of the world — wheat, yeast, salt — and make something upon which the human race has flourished.
Think about it. Could grain ever get into a loaf of bread by itself? The fact that God doesn’t give us all our needs ready-made shows that He not only allows us to participate in His creative acts, He actually desires us to.
Baking bread becomes the basis for an amazing supernatural act.
If you’re tempted to think of bread as nothing special, then consider this: Jesus chose bread and wine to be the substances that transform into His body and blood in the Eucharist. Seriously, how many other material goods can claim that dignity?
This means that those who make the bread that will eventually become Jesus are intermediaries between the natural and supernatural.
In our consumeristic, high-tech world, it’s easy for us to look down on activities such as bread and baking. Yet, there is a sanctity hidden in all good human work. Let’s pray that we obtain the vision to see God’s glory manifested in all that is true, good, and beautiful — especially in the little things in life we often overlook.
There are some beliefs Catholics share with Muslims,…
PINTS WITH AQUINAS
Become part of the Pints With Aquinas community by supporting the show on Locals. Depending on the amount of your monthly gift, you’ll get access to some pretty awesome perks, from the “Morning Coffee” podcast to monthly spiritual direction videos from Fr. Gregory Pine!