Readings for Friday April 23, 2010
First Reading: Acts 9:1-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 117
Gospel: John 6:52-59
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. (n 6:52-59)
"How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?" This is what the Jews argued about when Jesus talked about how He is the bread of life, and that if we want to live, then we must eat of this bread. The Jews had a great deal of trouble with this teaching, just as many people have trouble with it today. As Catholics, we believe that at each mass we receive the true body and blood of Jesus Christ, while it is a great mystery and we do not fully understand it, we simply know that it is what it is.
Faith doesn't need full understanding and complete logic. Simply knowing in our hearts and our minds that each time we receive communion we receive Jesus body, blood, soul, and divinity; is sufficient for us. It think this is why the Jews and even people today have trouble accepting the Eucharist, because they cannot wrap their heads around how and why this happens. Unfortunately, "higher thought" can be a significant stumbling block to a thriving faith life. There are definitely times where we have to accept things as the mystery (and grace) that they are, just accept it and say "it is what it is." The Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ, given to us so that we might have life in us ... period.
Our great Catholic Faith, it is what it is ... thanks be to God!
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have blessed us with in this life. Lord, thank you for all that you have given us and for all that you continue to do in our lives. Lord, thank you for the gift of the Eucharist, the gift of your body and blood; help us to receive you with humble and contrite hearts. Lord, help us to persevere in this life with your grace and to follow you no matter what. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.