TRUE FOOD AND DRINK

Friday, 3rd Week of Easter

            Imagine you are Jesus. You want to show people in a dramatic way that you want to be united with them. At the same time, you want to give people an opportunity to show that they also want to be united with you. How would you achieve both goals?

            We find the answer in today’s gospel reading. Jesus gives himself to us in the form of food. By giving himself to us as food, Jesus shows his desire to become one with us. At the same time, he gives us a way to show our desire to become one with him: by receiving him in our heart and body in the form of food.

            “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” In this world, so many alluring and beguiling voices offer us available entertainment, instant happiness, and gratification. But Jesus alone, the living bread, can give us genuine happiness and lasting joy. In a consumerist society we live in, so many products are presented or commercialized as capable of satisfying our hunger. But Jesus alone, the true food, can satisfy our deepest human hungers. So many ways and means are taught to us by our worldly society – things that it says can give us a sense of fulfillment and meaning… can bring us wealth, power, prestige, honor, social status… can help us succeed, achieve, and accomplish things in whatever field we enter and engage ourselves in. But Jesus alone, the true drink, can quench our thirst for purpose, meaning, and fulfillment. Indeed, Jesus alone can give us the fullness of life.

            I have already said this in one of my homilies before… 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? We might be saying that we come here in this Mass to share in Christ’s saving sacrifice. But are we really giving our full, conscious, and active participation in the Eucharist? Let honestly examine ourselves…

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