Reading 1: DT 8:2-3, 14B-16A
Responsorial Psalm:PS 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
Reading 2: 1 COR 10:16-17
Gospel: JN 6:51-58
Today we celebrate the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the heavenly food and Nourishment which we all need.
The thing about food is that not only do we need it to live, we need it each and every single day. This truth helps us to understand today’s gospel, because Jesus presents himself to us as food, as the living bread. Throughout the gospel of John, Jesus applies images to himself in order to convey his purpose in our lives. In John 8:12 , Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” As light, Jesus is telling us that we need him to see what is good and what is true. In John 10:11, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” A shepherd takes care of the sheep. As shepherd, Jesus is showing us that we need him to be safe. In today’s Holy gospel reading, Jesus says, “I am the bread that has come down from heaven.” As bread, Jesus is revealing to us that we need him for life and that we need him each and every single day. As bread, Jesus is saying it is not enough to turn to him when we need to be protected or when we need guidance. We need to turn to him every single day, because he is our food. He is our Nourishment.
So how can we be fed by our Lord Jesus each and every day? There are some great and obvious ways. The most glorious way is in the one that we celebrate today, of The Body and Blood of Our Lord: the Holy Eucharist. We, as Catholics, believe that when the bread and wine are blessed on the altar, they become for us the real presence of Jesus: his body, his blood, his soul, and his divinity. When we receive the body and blood of Christ, Jesus feeds us and shares his power and grace with us. But we are fed not only by the Holy Eucharist, but also by the word of God in the holy scriptures. Each time we read from the Bible and seek its meaning, Our Lord nourishes us.
Clearly both the Holy Eucharist and the Holy scriptures are both very crucial ways for us to be fed. But few of us receive the Eucharist or read the scriptures in the bible every single day. So, how then can we be fed by Christ daily? We can adopt the habit of prayer into our daily lives. Now when I speak of prayer, I am not talking about saying prayers, although saying prayers is important. If we are able to say the rosary or to set aside fifteen minutes for meditation each day, that would be valuable to do so. But the prayer I am advising is much more simple. I am talking about connecting regular events in our lives to Christ. For example, when we open your eyes in the morning, why not commit ourselves to make that moment a prayer. It can be a simple “Thank you, Lord, for this day,” In that moment of prayer, Christ will feed us. When we say goodnight to our children or to our spouse if we have them, why not make that moment a prayer. We can choose to thank God for the blessing of the people who make our life worth living. In that blessing, Christ will nourish us. When we see a funeral procession, we can stop and say a prayer for the person who has died and ask Christ to increase our belief in eternal life. By pausing to do that, Christ will strengthen our faith. When we see something that is wrong in the world, whether it be in our family, at work, at school, or anywhere else in the world, we should stop and ask Christ to show us how we might make it better. In that prayer and the service that flows from it, Christ will be our bread.
We need to be fed by Christ every day. Our food is the Holy Eucharist, together with the scriptures, and simple prayer at the key moments of life. How often do we need to be fed? More than once each day is a must. If Christ is our food, we must find a way to be fed by Christ daily. We should make him our breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and perhaps, a snack or two in the day, and also before we go to sleep each and every single day of our lives.