23rd April 2021
UNION WITH THE LORD THROUGH HIS BODY AND BLOOD
First Reading: Acts 9:1-20
Psalms 117:1, 2
Gospel: John 6: 52-59
Dear Christians, in today’s Gospel, Jesus becomes daring in His teaching on the Bread of Life. He told the Jews that He is offering His flesh to be eaten. This was hard for the Jews to believe for it would mean they are cannibals. How could they accept to eat human flesh? In fact it was a new teaching and were not ready and willing to accept. Truly, even in our time, will find that teaching hard to accept. Was Jesus being radical or He was just being symbolical? Jesus was not talking of His human flesh. He was prefiguring his institution of the Holy Eucharist. As we know now, what Jesus said became possible. When we break bread, the bread becomes Jesus’ Body and Blood. That is what we believe. When we eat the bread and drink the wine, we become one with Jesus. Jesus is in us and we are in Jesus.
Today the act of consummation of the holy Eucharist should lead to the friendship between Jesus and us. At the same time, it is a challenge to live the faith and be in constant friendship with the Lord.
Jesus chose an excellent context for His Bread of Life teaching. Sharing bread and wine at table is a symbol of unity, family, and friendship. Enemies do not share the same table. Thus, for our communion or reception of the Lord to be effective, meaningful, and fruitful, it must be received in the right disposition. No wonder, our faith requires us to, at least, have gone to confession or be free from mortal sins.
Our goal is to be always seated at table with the Lord. Jesus, the Bread of Life, is always available. He nourishes our body and soul. He gives purpose and meaning to life. When we receive the Lord in Holy Communion, we ought to represent Him to others. Let us pray that others may experience Jesus in us. Amen.