“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”

As we encounter another Sunday, Jesus’ Bread of Life discourse continues (Jn 6:51-58).  Jesus tells the crowd that He is the living bread from heaven and that we are to eat this bread, that is, His flesh, so that we may have life.  When the Jews quarrel about the idea of consuming a man’s flesh, Jesus says that eating His body and drinking His blood is required for eternal life and for Jesus and His followers to be united (see the sentence at top).  Jesus gets life from the Father, we get life through consuming Jesus leading to eternal life.  The importance of the Holy Eucharist is explicit here.  When received with the proper disposition (no mortal sin on our souls) It gives us life and It unites Jesus to us and us to Jesus in a special way.  Some Christians try to get around the plain meaning of Jesus’ words, but the Church has believed in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist from apostolic times (as evidenced by the gospels, Paul, and the early Church Fathers, starting with Clement of Rome, a co-worker with Paul and the fourth pope).  We should take every opportunity to go to Mass to receive Holy Communion and make frequent spiritual Communions (no limit — we should ask Jesus to come into our hearts continually).  Jesus gives Himself as a gift that we are required to accept.  May we do it often, with immense gratitude, and with a spirit of repentance and the action of right living that allows us to be open to all the graces that are available in this Sacrament of Sacraments.

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