A New Life
(2012-08-19) John 6:51-58
Jesus said to the 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." Introductory Prayer: I believe in you, my God. You called me into existence from nothingness and carefully watch over me. You have even numbered the hairs of my head. I trust in your infinite goodness, and I abandon into your loving hands my fears, my hopes, my needs, my desires, everything. I love you, Lord, and I wish to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and strength. Petition: Grant, Lord, that I may grow in faith in the Eucharist.
1. A New Life: It is always good to reflect on the basic and most fundamental truths of our faith. We can get so used to them that we lose the sense of marvel before them. God became man that we might participate in the very life of God. We, who thanks to our first parents’ sin were born with a life that was doomed, have by God’s mercy received the gift of a new life, a life that will never end. We received this new life at baptism, when we were incorporated into the Mystical Body of Christ and became children of God. We participate in the divine life of the Holy Trinity through the Son of God who became man for our sakes. What an extraordinary gift we have received! All of us need to reflect on it in God’s presence, so we may grow in appreciation and love for God whose mercy toward us is boundless.
2. New Life – New Food: We have received life, the very life of God. We have this new life in Christ. It comes entirely from him – not from the world, not from men, and not from angels. Christ became man that we might have this new life. But, as is always the way of human beings, we are weak and we need food so as to live. No earthly food can sustain this new life. So, Christ has given himself to be our “true food.” In the Eucharist he has become our food and our drink. A new food for a new life is what we receive. We should marvel at this food which we receive for our nourishment. Let us stop and wonder in silent adoration before the generosity of the Son of God.
3. The Food of Promise: The Eucharist is an extraordinary gift. We cannot fathom its infinite riches, as it is the Son of God himself. The bread is no longer bread, and the wine is no longer wine. We are in the presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. He came that we might have life and have it to the full. He came and gave us himself to sustain us on our journey. The food he gives – himself – is also the food of promise, for whoever eats his sacred Body and drinks his precious Blood will have eternal life and will be raised up on the last day. All other food is rendered useless at death. The Eucharist brings about the triumph over death; it is a new food for a new life – Eternal Life.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, to whom shall we go? You are the Bread of Life! There is not enough time to spend in thanksgiving for the greatness of the Eucharist. Here I am; I come to love you as best I can. I trust that through your Mother Mary’s help I will be able to love you.
Resolution: I will invite my family to make a Eucharistic visit or to make a spiritual communion.