Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ Father Eamonn Shelly, LC
John 6: 51-58
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I renew my faith in your true presence in the Eucharist. I believe you come down from heaven to be present in the host at every Mass and remain with me in the Tabernacle. You are the source of my hope. I long to be more united to you through this gift of yourself.
Petition: Lord, increase my devotion to you in the Eucharist.
1. Fear Not, It Is I: There was a bishop who would jokingly speak about the fact that he was not very good-looking; in fact, he had no problem recognizing that he was quite ugly. One day, a lady who appreciated this very holy man approached him and asked him to sign a photo of him she had just bought. She wanted to frame it and hang it in her living room. The bishop wrote on the photo, "Fear not, it is I." Even though in the Eucharist we see a piece of bread, through our faith we believe that behind this veil is the body of Christ. So fear not, it is Christ.
2. How Can This Be? The Jews disputed with Jesus about this difficult truth they found extremely hard to accept. So, too, many who go to Mass on Sunday don't really believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. At times, maybe even we receive the Eucharist with a certain lack of awareness of what we are doing. In this way, just like these Jews, we allow a seed of doubt to enter our hearts. It is important to ask ourselves, "What do I do to ensure that I receive Christ in the Eucharist with the fitting dispositions of fervor, longing, gratitude, self-offering, etc.? Is what I'm presently doing enough?"
3. You Will Never Die: Deep down in the heart of every man, woman and child has a yearning to live forever. On earth, only the Eucharist, Christ himself, can satisfy that thirst for the eternal. That is why we can experience so much peace and joy when we live a true devotion to the Eucharist and receive Our Lord with great reverence, faith and love. Truly, the Eucharist is the bread of life.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I believe, but help my unbelief. Give me your Body in the Eucharist, and grant me the grace to grow every day in my faith in your real presence in the Eucharist.
Resolution: I will try to make it to an additional Mass sometime during the week.