June 18, 2017: Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
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.” (John 6:51-58)
Jesus says, “I am the living bread.” To live one must eat and drink and consume food. Jesus gives himself to us as nourishment that sustains life.
Although to “eat his body and drink his blood” is indeed a hard saying … hard to understand … Jesus stands by his words. He explains that his body is true food and his blood true drink. He promises that everyone who consumes them will have eternal life.
In order to maintain a healthy spiritual life, we must receive the Holy Eucharist often. Let us recall the experience of our First Holy Communion and how it was presented to us as a very important sacrament which would nourish us throughout our entire life. Let us remember God’s promise that if we eat his body and drink his blood we will have eternal life. He will raise us up on the last day.