April 29, 2020 – 3rd Week of Easter

“May Jesus, the Bread of Life, always be the source, strength and summit of our Christian living!”

(Based on Acts 8:1-8 and Jn 6:35-40)

One of the simplest moral stories that all of us have heard is that of the thirsty crow.

One hot day, a thirsty crow flew all over, looking for water.

For a long time, he could not find any.

He felt weak, and lost all hope.

Suddenly, he saw a water jug below the tree. He flew straight down, and was delighted to see some water inside it!

Sadly, he found that the neck of the jug was too narrow and it was impossible for him to access the water.

He tried to push the jug to tilt, for the water to flow out but the jug was too heavy.

The crow thought hard for a while.

Then looking around it, he saw some pebbles and an idea struck him.

He started picking up the pebbles one by one, dropping each into the jug.

As more and more pebbles filled the jug, the water level kept rising.

Soon it was high enough for the crow to drink.
His plan had worked… His thirst had been quenched!

The moral of this story is to “Think and work hard, you may find solution to any problem”.

But when we consider this story from another perspective, we notice that it also shows the deep craving inside every creature, to satisfy one’s thirst.

One is restless till this thirst is fulfilled…
One is impatient till this craving is satisfied…

This agitated thirst is also innate in every human being…
… a thirst for the Divine, for the Transcendental.

And this thirst, compels humans…
… to search… to seek…
… for the source of satisfaction
… for the fountain of fulfilment

But how wonderful it would be to be knowing and to be convinced that this “thirst” can find its fulfilment only in God.

And how wonderful it would be, if all human beings could be properly guided and correctly directed on this path of finding true contentment.

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus promising this fulfilment and contentment to all those who come to Him and believe in Him – the Bread of Life.

Jesus declares, “I am the Bread of Life; He who comes to me shall not hunger and he who believes in me shall never thirst” (Jn 6: 35)

The crowds who had been fed by Jesus, by the miracle of the multiplication of loaves, came in search of Jesus… probably expecting more…

They wanted still more…and they express this to Jesus, “Sir, give us this bread always” (Jn 6:34)

In John Chapter 4, we read the story of the Samaritan woman, by the well of Jacob, who had also expressed a similar desire.

She said to Jesus “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water” (Jn 4: 15)

This desire to receive bread or water, so that one may not hunger again or be thirsty again, is the innate desire and longing within each human being…

Each of us, deep within, are thirsty and hungry…
… wanting to drink water and eat food that will quench the longing, forever.

It is this search that makes people to go out and seek the various sources of satisfaction.

Some feel to have found this fulfilment…
… through worldly pleasures and bad habits like smoking, drinking, obsession with sex, drugs etc, which only lead to momentary external satisfaction and short-lived bursts of thrill.

Some feel to have found this fulfilment…
… in the various philosophies, new-age patterns of life and naturalistic means of spirituality etc, which may have traces of truth, but fail to provide authentic and fullness of life.

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles records one such notable example of Saul.

Saul (who is also called Paul) failed to understand and grasp “The Truth” and persecuted all those who followed “The Way!”

“But Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison.” (Acts 8:3)

But Jesus, today, boldly and unambiguously declares that it’s only in HIM that true and complete fulfilment of life can be found: “He who comes to me shall not hunger and he who believes in me shall never thirst” (Jn 6: 35)

Are we convinced of this fact, that it’s only in Jesus, that I can achieve true and complete happiness…?

Like the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32), we may have strayed away from this path of truth, to seek our own means and ways to find happiness and satisfaction.

But the Lord, today, calls us back to Him…
… to His Heart
… to His Church
… to His Eucharist
… to experience Him fully.

To those who have strayed, the call of the Gospel, is to come back to the paths of truth
To those who are holding on to Him, the call of the Gospel, is to deepen the conviction, that in Him alone, can the hunger of my soul and the thirst of my heart be fulfilled.

To those who have strayed, the Lord invites to build the virtues of humility, docility and openness to the Spirit.
To those who are holding on to Him, the Lord invites to build the virtues of patience, firm trust and a passionate longing.

May Jesus, the Bread of Life, always be the source, strength and summit of our Christian living!

Today we seek the intercession of St Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, who had a tremendous love and devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist…
… in fact, for the seven year period prior to her death, Saint Catherine of Siena took no food into her body other than the Eucharist.

Her fasting did not affect her energy, however. She maintained a very active life during those seven years. Not only did her fasting not cause her to lose energy, but became a source of extraordinary strength, she becoming stronger in the afternoon, after having received our Lord in His Eucharist.
It was her tremendous love of Jesus in the Eucharist that made her to go out to the poor and especially the very ill and to minister to them as she did.

Today on her Feast day, let her life and words be a great inspiration for all of us:
“O inestimable charity! Even as You, True God and True Man, gave Yourself entirely to us, so also You left Yourself entirely for us, to be our food…
… so that during our earthly pilgrimage, we would not faint with weariness, but would be strengthened by You, our Celestial Bread.

O man, what has your God left you? He has left you Himself, wholly God and wholly Man, concealed under the Whiteness of Bread!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “When you have received Him (in the Holy Eucharist), stir up your heart to do Him homage.

Speak to Him about your spiritual life, gazing upon Him in your soul where He is present for your happiness
Welcome Him as warmly as possible, and behave outwardly in such a way…

… that your actions may give proof to all of His Presence.”

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