Friday, May 10, 2019
Readings: Acts 9:1-20; Ps 116:1-2; Jn 6:52-59
Focus: ‘The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”’ (Jn 6:52)
In the aftermath of the feeding of the multitudes, Jesus imparts to those who would make him a ‘bread king’ (Jn 6:15), his ‘Bread of Life’ discourse (Jn 6:25-51). He asserts that unless they ate his flesh and drank his blood, they were as good as dead (Jn 6:53). The Jews, as yet incredulous about Jesus’ real identity, could be forgiven for their outrage (Focus); not so us!
Jesus defines the eternal life he is offering: it lies in total communion with him (Jn 6:54-58), in the knowledge that he will give his very life for us. He institutionalises his supreme sacrifice at the Last Supper and then physically endures it. And we Christians commemorate it in the Holy Eucharist.
As we participate in the breaking of the bread, we are reminded that the Word truly became flesh and shared our human condition (Jn 1:14).
Yet, when Jesus’ life was at stake, he did not resist or retaliate, but offered it up even for his detractors.
Jesus is inviting us to do likewise – to eat his flesh and drink his blood is to receive his offering of himself, and to give ourselves unreservedly to others. We will find “eternal life” (Jn 6:54) only through communion with Jesus in the Eucharist.
Fruit: I will strive toward eternal life by a deeper understanding of, and frequent participation in, the Holy Eucharist.