The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

XX Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 16th, 2009

Proverbs 9, 1-6; Psalm 34; Ephesians 5, 15-20; St. John 6, 51-58

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy

Alexander, Caesar, and Napoleon established mighty empires by force.

Jesus began His Empire with love and service, with Last Supper and the gift of His Body and Blood. Theirs have disappeared. His remains.

Each week millions assemble to salute Him in the Eucharist. He spoke that last night to a small band of illiterate men as though the memorial ceremony would continue down through the centuries. History has proved Him correct.

This week we come to the climax of John 6. John 6 is about sustenance. It is about eating. It is about nourishment. It is about the Eucharist. "Who eats my flesh and drink my blood will have the eternal life."

It is not about eating like we normally eat. Normally, when we eat, we assimilate the food.

But that is not what happens when we receive the Eucharist. When we receive the Eucharist, we don’t assimilate the food, the Food assimilates us. When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus transforms us. Instead of the food taking on our life, we take on the life of the Lord. We just heard: “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.”

Jesus didn't say: "Who eats the symbol of my flesh, or who drinks the sign of my blood" ..

The attraction of the Eucharist is dynamic. Jesus is dynamic. When we receive communion or when we come to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, we don’t just kneel before a static object. It is not a crucifix or a statue that reminds us of something. This is Jesus. The One Who Is. When we receive communion or come to adoration, we come before the dynamic, powerful Presence who speaks to us through the life He has given us. Eucharist is the same body, and the same blood given for the life of the world on the cross.

When Jesus gave us his Body and Blood the night before He died and when He gives us his Body and Blood every time we receive communion, the Lord gives us the total sacrifice of Himself to his Father. “This is my Body which shall be given up for you. This is the cup of my Blood, the new and everlasting covenant that shall be shed for you and for all until the end of time.” When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus is present as the Servant of God who in his sacrificial death is saving us all. Right here, right now. Today’s Gospel states: ‘The one who feds on my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal.” In the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist we receive Jesus saving his people.

If would like to simplify, to make this mystery more comprehensible, more logical and intelligible, if we refuse the real presence of the Body and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament, we finally refuse to recognise the reality of His passion and death. In today's Gospel Jesus identifies, means make the sign of equality between the bread of life and His Body. We cannot deny it, we cannot neglect this reality of the authentic presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

"The Bread that I will give you for the life of the world IS MY FLESH".

When we receive communion, we receive Jesus saving us now. We receive Christ strengthening us and transforming our joys and sorrows into prayers to his Father. Our union with Christ in the Eucharist is union with Christ in passion, death and resurrection. Sometimes we are full of the joy of the Resurrection, sometimes the sorrow of the Passion, but always we are strengthened by the one who gives us his body and blood. The Lord is always in action. His Presence is dynamic.

The Eucharist is "the source, the center and the summit of the Christian life. (CCC, 1324)

Is it really? Is it the Eucharist really a center of my life?

It is interesting how much time and effort we spend to maintain our physical body in good condition. How many hours we spend in gyms, on the health paths, at the doctor, in the solariums, on walking, jogging, exercising, choosing the healthy food, and so on, and so on, …………… and at the same time very often we don't have time or interest to come for Sunday for Mass, we don't have time to come for one hour or even few minutes of Adoration, we don't have time for prayers, we are to tired for worshipping the Giver of Life.

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