Thursday, 3rd Week of Easter
Jesus, in today’s gospel reading, presents himself as the bread that comes down from heaven. He invites us to partake of this bread so that we will live forever. Jesus’ invitation to eat this bread of life is continually offered at the celebration of the Eucharist. During the consecration, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the bread and wine become truly the Body and Blood of Jesus. In Holy Communion, we receive Jesus in the form of bread and wine. It is, indeed, Jesus whom we receive in the Eucharist. We draw spiritual nourishment and strength from the Eucharist. The Eucharist sustains and gives us eternal life.
Hence, the daily bread we pray for should, first and foremost, include our need for the Bread of Life, the Eucharist, Jesus himself. Do you consider the Eucharist as your daily bread? Do you really get your daily sustenance from the Eucharist? How much faith do you have in the Eucharist? Does our life show that we draw spiritual nourishment and strength from the Eucharist? I hope we continue asking ourselves these questions even after this Mass.
How much faith do we have in the Eucharist? We might be saying that we believe that Christ is in the Eucharist. But are we really that fervent and motivated to receive the Lord in the Eucharist? We might be saying that we trust in the power of the Eucharist to change us. But are we really putting ourselves before the Eucharist to be converted, to be transformed, to be renewed?
Sad to say we confine the Eucharist or the Mass to our personal needs. We come to Mass to get expected answers to our personal intentions and petitions. But Christ is giving us more than this in the Eucharist: He is giving us his own Body and Blood. Christ is giving himself to us as the Living Bread.
Let us end with a prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Living Bread that comes down from heaven. YOU are the bread that nourishes our body and spirit. YOU are the bread that strengthens us to obey God’s will. YOU are the bread that sustains us to follow you. YOU are the bread that empowers us to share in your mission. YOU are the bread that enables us to live the fullness of life. May we always respond to your loving invitation to partake of this Bread of the Eucharist. Amen.