“Growing in our love for Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist – the Bread of Life!”
(Based on Acts 8:26-40 and Jn 6:44-51 – Thursday of the 3rd Week in Easter)
Saint Mother Teresa was known for her immense devotion to the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.
She found her strength for her services of mercy, by being united and spending time with the Eucharistic Lord…
She has spoken very beautifully about the Holy Eucharist:
She says: “When Jesus came into the world, he loved it so much that he gave His Life for it.
He wanted to satisfy our hunger for God.
And what did He do?
He made himself the ‘Bread of Life.’
He became small, fragile and defenseless for us.
Bits of bread can be so small that…
… even a small child can chew it!
… even a dying person can eat it!”
Have we discovered our Love for this “Precious Bread of Life?”
The Sixth Chapter of the Gospel of St John can be called as “the great discourse on the Bread of Life”
Jesus declares Himself as the “Bread of Life” (Jn 6:35), Who came down from heaven.
On hearing this statement of the Lord, the Jews “murmured” about Him (Jn 6:41)
They knew that Jesus was only the son of Joseph.
They knew the father and mother of Jesus.
They were very familiar with His human origins
Therefore, the statement of Jesus that “He was the bread, Who came down from heaven” caused a great deal of “murmur”.
The Greek word that is used here for murmur is a word, “gogguzo”…
This “gogguzo” means…
… any low, continuous sound as of a brook, the wind, trees etc or low indistinct voices
… a mumbled or private expression of discontent
… to show “smouldering discontent”, droning on in a low, constant murmur
A similar “gogguzo” was also expressed by the Israelites, in their long journey in the desert.
When Moses led the large multitude of the Israelites through the desert, the impatient crowd, raised their voices in complaint against Moses and Aaron, “Would that we had died at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread” (Ex 16:3)
The Israelites also “murmured!”
In response to this “murmuring” of the people, God Yahweh provided them with the “flesh of the quail” and the “bread of the Manna” (Ex 16: 4-15)
In the Gospel, when the Jews “murmured”, Jesus provides them with a reply of the “flesh of His body” and the “bread of His Life”
Jesus tells – as we see in today’s Gospel also – “Stop murmuring among yourselves… I am the Bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.” (Jn 6: 43, 48-50)
The Israelites were given perishable flesh of the quails and they who ate the Manna, died.
But Jesus, now gives His imperishable flesh of His Own Body and offers the Eternal Manna as the Bread of our life!
It is in the Holy Eucharist, that the Lord offers this imperishable food and salvation to each of us.
What is our perception and passion towards this True Life that Jesus offers in the Holy Eucharist?
The Israelites in the Old Testament as well as the Jews in Jesus’ time, “murmured”…
Do I also “murmur” and remain indifferent to believing in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist?
Do I also “murmur” and fail to prepare myself well to receive Jesus, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?
Do I also “murmur” and become unmindful or even disrespectful to the Presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, in the Chapels and in the Churches?
May this lengthened meditation on John 6 – the “the great discourse on the Bread of Life” – help us to deepen our faith and zeal for Jesus, in the Most Holy Eucharist.
It is this devotion and union with the Lord, alone, that can make us also, in turn, a Eucharistic people – breaking and giving ourselves – for the welfare and salvation of the world!
In the book of the Acts of the Apostles, Philip…
… inspired by an Angel of the Lord reaches out to a royal official – an Ethiopian eunach – and delivers the Word of God and the Salvific Message of the Risen Lord.
When we have a deep passion for the Lord in our hearts, we too will reach out the Message of God’s Love and Mercy to the world around us.
Let the words of St Francis de Sales inspire us:
“When the bee has gathered the dew of heaven and the earth’s sweetest nectar from the flowers, it turns it into honey, then hastens to its hive.
In the same way, the priest, having taken from the Altar, the Son of God (who is as the dew from heaven, and true son of Mary, flower of our humanity)…
… gives Him to you as Delicious Food!”
Let us seek to satisfy our hunger for God…
… by growing in our love for Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist – the Bread of Life!”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE HOLY SPIRIT RECALLS THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST – ANAMNESIS.
The liturgical celebration always refers to God’s saving interventions in history.
“The economy of Revelation is realized by deeds and words which are intrinsically bound up with each other.
The words for their part proclaim the works and bring to light the mystery they contain.”
In the Liturgy of the Word the Holy Spirit “recalls” to the assembly all that Christ has done for us.
In keeping with the nature of liturgical actions and the ritual traditions of the churches, the celebration “makes a remembrance” of the marvellous works of God in an anamnesis which may be more or less developed.
The Holy Spirit who thus awakens the memory of the Church then inspires thanksgiving and praise (doxology). (CCC #1103)