The Holy Gospel according to John (6:52-59).
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.” These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Reflection: For the past couple of days, we have been reading from the Gospel of John, chapter 6. This chapter is called the “Bread of Life Discourse.” In this chapter, Jesus emphasizes again and again that He is the Bread come down from heaven, that his Body and Blood are true food and drink, and that whoever eats his Body and drinks his Blood will live forever. In today’s Gospel, we hear how the Jews who were following Jesus argued among themselves because the idea of eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood was shocking. They did not take this literally. Today, many of our Protestant brothers and sisters still do not take this literally. They take most of the Bible literally, except John chapter 6. For us, we know and believe this chapter is about the Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we receive the Eucharist during the mass, we take this literally. As Jesus tells us, “Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him.” Have you ever been asked if you have a personal relationship with Jesus? How much more personal of a relationship can you have when Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity is literally and physically inside of you. When we take the Eucharist into our own bodies, we unite ourselves with our Lord in a deep and intimate bond. THAT is a personal relationship. This is what feeds us and gives us life.
Action for the day: The Catholic Church teaches that the Eucharist is the source and summit of everything we do. It all begins with the Eucharist. Do we become what we eat? Today, pray for the grace that when we receive the Eucharist we are to GO out and be Eucharist to others.