APRIL 23. Easter Wk. 3. Fri. Jn.6. 52-59
The Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood
has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me
and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’
He taught this doctrine at Capernaum, in the synagogue.
This must rank as one of Christ’s most important and fundamental teachings for the Church, and a treasure we must be eternally grateful for. He is making a pronouncement; - viewed as both impossible and unreasonable to any intelligent man thinking logically; - but Christ ignores this human way of thinking and passes on a divine truth; - for those prepared to believe!
“He taught this doctrine at Capernaum, in the synagogue”; - and nothing would change his mind, or influence his thinking. His duty, which came from the Father, was to proclaim the truth to his followers; - and those prepared to believe; - despite their not understanding how!
The Church in 2021 continues to proclaim the same truth; - in face of the same common belief today that “this is a hard saying; - who could believe it?” Surveys in America tell us sixty percent of American Catholics do not believe in the real presence in the Eucharist, but the Church continues to proclaim the Eucharist as “The source and summit of the Christian Life!”
And what a source of comfort and consolation this proclamation is to those who believe? No matter what happens in our lives, be it wonderful or tragic, we have the ability to walk to our local church and spend time in the presence of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and our Saviour?
And, as if that divine gift is not enough, Christ also invites us to receive the Eucharist as food for the pilgrimage of life; - in the same way God’s chosen people were provided with “manna from heaven”; - while enduring their pilgrimage in the desert.
Despite the lack of Faith Christ’s teachings remain; - “My flesh is real food; - and my blood is real drink; - He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me; - and I live in him!”