Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary.
Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.”
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.” JN 6:51-58
Today, the crowd Jesus is teaching were those who were part of the amazing miracle, the feeding of the 5,000. This is a foreshadowing of the Eucharist in the New Testament and teaches us God cannot be outdone in generosity. God loves us so much He came to earth and humbles Himself to stay with us so He can fit between 2 fingers of a priest. Wow! My humility is so weak and my pride so puffed up compared to God. He understands and wants us to give Him our brokenness and He wants to feed us. God cannot give us more than Himself. He gives us Himself totally and completely to heal our brokenness. This is why He came and it hurts Him more than anything when we become unrepentant, prideful, unforgiving, or think we cannot become holy because we have sinned too many times.
The Eucharist is foreshadowed in the Old Testament by the manna in the desert that feeds the Israelites. Many of Jesus’s closest followers left Him after this difficult teaching. I have to admit if I was in the crowd and Jesus said I had to eat His flesh to have eternal life, it would have freaked me out. The interesting thing is if you continue to read this passage, Jesus turns to the chosen 12, the future of the entire Catholic Church, and asks them if they too want to leave Him. Wow! Jesus will not back down on this teaching. He is even willing to give up the future of the Church. Peter, thank God, says, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” After Jesus resurrects many of these close followers of Christ come back and partake in the breaking of the bread.
What does all of this mean for you and me today? I try to always keep the words of Padre Pio in my mind if I am not going to daily Mass enough, “Concerning the value of the Mass, Padre Pio said: ”If men only appreciated the value of a holy Mass they would need traffic officers at church doors every day to keep the crowds in order.”
The value of the holy Mass is so great because it is where God brings us back to the foot of the Cross to witness Jesus fulfilling His mission to suffer, die, and resurrect with His body and blood for the life of the world. Jesus loves us so much He died for us. He continues to sacrifice Himself hidden behind bread and wine so that we can receive Him because we are a broken people. We are fighting our fallen human nature and the most intelligent deceitful fallen angel, Lucifer.
I don’t know about you, but if I swallow my pride, take time to sit in silence and reflect on my life. I am broken. I can find examples daily in my life. As a human, a husband, a father, and a religion teacher, I am humbled each day by the mistakes I make. I am frustrated by the sin I continue to fight and sometimes fail to conquer. Thank God for Jesus who continues to give His flesh for the life of the world to help us battle. In the end, we must realize what Christ said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood, has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” This end must be the beginning thought on our mind each day so we can face the battle being waged against us. Christians live each day with the end in mind. Christ died to prepare a host every day of your life after 1st Communion until you die. Come to Him and receive Him so you have His life in you. Your life WILL be transformed. Jesus cannot lie.
Today’s challenge: Set a goal to find all of the daily Mass times in Wichita. Is there a time you can go to daily Mass that does not conflict with work, school, BC weights, sports practices, etc.? I bet so. You may have to make a sacrifice of sleep or time, but Christ died to give you His flesh for eternal life. I have found this to be the most fruitful and fulfilling of all of the times I go to Mass and spend time with Jesus. Give Christ a chance.
Be a servant, become a saint!