Daily Thought For May 1, 2020
The Bread of Life
“How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?”
In truth, we don’t understand these words of Jesus any more than did those who heard them from the lips of the Savior himself. Jesus does not offer any explanation to satisfy their curious intellects. He simply calls for their faith. “Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you.” Belief is a matter of life and death, not of understanding. His Flesh and Blood are the medicine of immortality.
Such belief keeps us in the place of the creature, the recipient of the Creator’s love and the follower of his plan. Why should we believe something so preposterous as these words recorded in the Gospel of John? We are perfectly free to judge from the point of view of our puny intellect that they are nonsense. We are also free to say that though we cannot understand, we will believe, because the word of God can be trusted.
What follows upon belief? In these past weeks we have meditated on the stories of people who encountered the risen Christ three days after they had laid him to rest on that first Good Friday. Surprise. Awe. Homage. Speechless wonder. Amazement. The words of Thomas, who received a personal appearance to resolve his doubt, capture the sentiments of all the first disciples in a short prayer, “My Lord and my God” (Jn 20:28).
You and I are privileged not just to see Jesus risen from the dead, but to receive him—body, blood, soul, and divinity—a privilege not even accorded the angels. What homage should be in our hearts as we, the ones for whom Christ died, receive him in the Eucharist, week after week, day after day.… It does not matter how it happens; it is enough to know that it happens.
Jesus, I believe in your presence in the Eucharist. I believe that when I receive you I am your whole world and you are mine. For that brief moment there is just you and I. It is the closest of encounters. Around me people are shuffling by, clearing their throats, singing. Filled with your presence, I join the song, rejoicing that you are also all for everyone in the Church with me receiving you. In profound reverence I thank you for this gift.
Jesus, I yearn for you.
Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 48–49). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.