Saturday of the 3rd Week of Easter

John 6:60-69

The Words of Eternal Life

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Claretian Communications Foundation 

2016 April 16, 2016

REFLECTION:

In the previous gospel readings of the past week we heard strange declarations made by Jesus such as this one: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh… My blood is true drink… whoever drinks my blood remains in me” (Jn 6:51, 55, 56). Upon hearing these words, as we see in today’s gospel reading, many of his followers recoiled in horror. They thought that Jesus was advocating some kind of cannibalism. And they began leaving him by droves. Now at this point Jesus had a choice: he could have backed out of his declaration by shouting to them: “Hey, come back! I was only speaking figuratively. The eucharistic bread and wine are only symbols, a commemoration, not really my flesh and blood”—what most of our protestant brethren believe. But Jesus, at the risk of losing all credibility and all his disciples, does not retract a single word he said. He is dead serious about the utter reality of his presence in the consecrated bread and wine. He risks everything on this central mystery of our faith. Let us not water it down either. The Eucharist is Jesus physically real. Period.

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

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Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

Source: schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3505-april-16-2016

2017 May 06, 2017

We cannot drift and just flow with the tide forever. At a certain point we need to make a stand. So in the gospel today, many of those who follow Jesus for the sake of following have finally voiced their stance, they find the teaching hard and not easy to accept. The time of indecision and hesitance is finished. They finally have to leave. It is funny that sometimes, we spent the better part of our time following something that we really could not accept in the end. We hope against all hope that our companionship will somehow miraculously last even though it is founded on our doubts and insincerity. We are not there to discover the truth but to test our strength of holding on to something that will not prosper. We waste our time.

The Twelve on the other hand choose to stay because they have something they believe to be true. They were convinced that Jesus has the words of eternal life. And so even if the teaching is hard and causes discomfort, even if life becomes a struggle because they were associated with Jesus, they will not leave Jesus and go somewhere. It is their conviction and firm belief in Jesus that will sustain them.

Source: schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3876-may-06-201

2018 April 21, 2018

LORD, TO WHOM SHALL WE GO?

Peter is not the most intelligent of the apostles. He commits blunders, sometimes speaks stupidly, and can be impulsive and unthinking. And yet in a moment of crisis, he seems to be the one to give a proper response. This is one situation. Jesus’ words and challenges seem to be too hard and too demanding that many disciples shook their heads and went away. And Jesus asked those closest to him the poignant question: Will you also go away? One can almost hear the sadness in this question. And Peter saves the situation with his brave and loyal response. Don’t we sometimes find the Christian challenge hard to follow: love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. Turn the other cheek. Be eunuchs for the Kingdom of God. Leave all you have and come and follow me. To whom do we go when we find our chosen path difficult and too heavy to bear? That is when we echo Peter’s unflinching loyalty and steadfast fidelity to God who has called us.

Source: schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/4231-april-21-2018

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Saturday of the 3rd Week of Easter

John 6:60-69

The Words of Eternal Life

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Navchetana

2016 THE THIRD WEEK OF EASTER

Saturday, April 16

Acts 9:31-42; Jn 6:60-69

Burn your Boats

“Lord, to whom can we go?” (Jn 6:68)

Jesus asked the crowd who followed him to eat his flesh and drink his blood. For people this teaching was a difficult one as they took it literally. Many of them preferred to stop following Jesus. Jesus also wanted to know the mind of disciples and Peter answered saying, “Lord, to whom we can go?” (Jn 6:68). These words were not of the one who is desperate but of total commitment.

God always want them as His disciples who dare to burn their boats behind them in following him. He wants them to leave no room for turning back.

When Prophet Elisha was called, he killed the oxen that he was using to till his field and using the wooden plough he made fire and cooked the animal (I Kg 19:21). When the Levi was called, he left the toll booth and went after Jesus (Lk 5:27, 28). He didn’t even to dispose the money that he had on his table. When the first disciples Simon and Andrews were called they left the boat and net then and there (Mk 1:16, 17).

Total commitment necessitates that we burn our boats behind us. Francis, a young man became a true disciple (and saint) only when he removed the dress he was wearing and returned it to his father. It was the moment of ‘burning his boat.’ Mother Theresa burned her boat when she left the Loretto Convent. Inordinate attachment to our friends, anxiety to earn more wealth,  pride of having good profession, etc. could be some of the ‘boats’ that we keep in our lives so that we can find a way out once we get bored with following Jesus. Let’s examine whether I have the cent- percent commitment to Jesus that comes only after burning our boats behind us. Fr. Johnson Bezalel CMI

Source: navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-04-16

2018 Saturday of the 3rd Week of Easter

Acts 9:31-42; Psalm 116:12-17; Gospel JN 6:60-69

Without Compromise

During this third week of Easter we have been listening to Jesus’ discourse on the bread of life. He went on insisting, “Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you….” This was too much for the people to accept. It was scandalous. They wanted him to lower his standard a bit, make some kind of compromise. Jesus refused. The outcome was as the Gospel says, “many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him”. This might have been totally frustrating for Jesus. But he refused to dilute his message to make it more acceptable to people. We make compromises all the time for fear of losing friends, name and reputation. We lower our standard to get popular approval. The church is making compromises all the time/lowering standard for acceptability, of fear of losing numbers. Fr. Mathew C SVD

Source: navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2018-04-21

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Saturday of the 3rd Week of Easter

John 6:60-69

The Words of Eternal Life

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Kyrygma

2016 DISCIPLESHIP IS NOT EASY – The Gospel tells us that this teaching of Jesus is not easy. Such is the nature of discipleship. There will always be challenges before us if we choose to follow Jesus. Karl Rahner, a noted Jesuit theologian of the 20th century, once wrote that he believed that it is harder in our day to live the Christian Gospel than it has ever been. This means that any Christian teaching, and discipleship in particular, will also be more difficult.

Are we up to the task? This is a question we have to ask ourselves. I sometimes wonder whether we do ourselves a disservice because we do not focus on the right aspect of the Christian life. Jesus has assured us that He will provide us with the grace we need if we follow Him. This means that the key question is if we are willing to surrender to the grace of the Holy Spirit who will provide us with all that we need to accomplish the task before us. This is a question of obedience and discipleship, not of personal capacity.

Many of Jesus’ disciples choose to leave Him after this teaching. The way to approach the next challenge is to face the problem head-on and not run away. It is to surrender our lives more fully to the grace of the Holy Spirit, and not decide that we do not have the strength to endure the struggle. We do not become disciples of Jesus based on our own strength. It is only by the grace of God that we can respond positively to our calling, let alone live it out faithfully. Let us leave it up to God and be obedient to wherever He leads us. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Have you ever been tempted to give up on God in your life? What made you not give up? What has this taught you about the grace of God?

Holy Spirit, come into my life in a deeper way every day so that I may experience the power of Your grace at work, making me a true disciple of Jesus. Amen.

Source: kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-04-16

2018 TRUST “The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” – John 6:63-64

Ten thousand pesos were missing from the petty cash fund. “How could this happen?” There were two other people in the room who saw her receive the money, count it, and keep it in the of office safe. But because she was in charge of the fund and people gossiped about her financial troubles, she became the suspect. No matter how much she recounted the events and explained what happened, no one believed her. She prayed, “Help me! You know what happened. But even if I did not steal that money, I am responsible. Please give me a way to pay what is missing.” Have people ever doubted you? Jesus experienced this when He revealed that He is the “bread of life,” that “whoever eats this bread will live forever.” The disciples found it hard to accept Jesus’ words. But Jesus stood firm about His true identity as the Son of God and in His mission as Savior of the world.

He trusted the Father to fulfill His divine plan.

So what about the lady in our story? She helped a friend sell a property, received over P100,000 in commission, and paid the missing money. In His time, God showed her who took it and gave her the grace to forgive. She trusted God to see her through. Dina Pecaña (dina.p@shepherdsvoice.com.ph)

Reflect: “Trust in the Lord with your whole heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

Jesus, King of mercy, I trust in You. Amen.

Source: kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2018-04-21

2018 CARRY THAT WEIGHT

I was once listening to a parenting talk given by a mother of three children whose age range spans from child to teen to early adult. She was talking about some recent research results concerning parenting in the digital generation. One word from her presentation stuck with me. It was the word “affluenza.”

With all good intentions, many parents, according to her, shower their children with everything that they were deprived of when they were young. Wishing to shield their children from the pain of that experience of want that marked their own childhood, they tend never to say “no” to any request from their children. Unwittingly, they end up raising children with affluenza, an unhealthy sense of entitlement, a feeling that I deserve and can get anything I want because my parents love me.

Like children sick with a affluenza, the people in today’s Gospel complained to Jesus that His teaching regarding His Body and Blood as real food and drink is “hard to accept” (v. 60).  They were practically demanding that Jesus change and soften His teaching according to their liking. When Jesus did not, they began to leave one by one like children on a tantrum.

Jesus, like a good parent, demonstrates that “no” is also a word of love. The Apostles understood this.  They weren’t spoiled brats. Challenged by Jesus if they are going to leave too, Peter declared, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Wasn’t Jesus also given a “no” by the Father in Gethsemane, when in utter agony and terror, He asked that the cup of suffering be taken away from Him? (See Luke 22:42.) But He trusted in the love of the Father despite the “no.” In the resurrection, the Father’s love was proven true. Fr. Joel O. Jason

——- REFLECTION QUESTIONS ——- A saying goes, “If you want your children to be well-grounded, don’t hesitate to put weight on their shoulders.” Are you ready to put that weight? Are you willing to take on that weight?

Help me to carry Your sweet yoke, and give me Your rest, Father. Amen.

Source: kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2018-04-21

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Saturday of the 3rd Week of Easter

John 6:60-69

The Words of Eternal Life

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Bishop Abet Uy DD

2016 Saturday, April 16, 2016

SATURDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK OF EASTER (YEAR C) – JUAN 6:60-69. UNSA MAN ANG LAWOM NGA PAGTOO KANG KRISTO? Daghan ang nisunod kang Kristo tungod kay nitoo sila sa iyang mga pulong ug milagro. Apan sa dihang gihagit niya sila sa mas lawom nga pagtoo, nga nag-apil sa pagkaon sa iyang lawas, nibiya sila kaniya. Kitang mga Katoliko miila sa presensya ni Hesus diha sa pan ug bino nga gikonsagra sa Santos nga Misa. Mitoo kita sa Iyang giingon, “Ang mokaon sa akong unod ug moinum sa akong dugo magpuyo dinhi kanako ug ako diha kaniya.” Sama kang Pedro, mitoo kita kang Kristo bisan dili matugkad sa hunahuna ang tanan niyang gitudlo tungod kay siya man ang Anak sa Dios. Sakto si A.W. Tozer sa iyang pag-ingon: “True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie. It is enough that God has said it.” Posted by Abet Uy

Source: abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/04/saturday-of-3rd-week-of-easter-year-c.html

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Saturday of the 3rd Week of Easter

John 6:60-69

The Words of Eternal Life

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from SVD Bible Diary

2002 Have we ever had an experience that we said: “It is good to be true?”

In the discourse of the Bread of Life, what Jesus has said and offered could have sounded incredible. He was offering Himself totally, Himself as word and as food and drink, giving eternal life. He only asked for faith, that we believe His words and come to Him.

Many of His disciples found Jesus’ offer “too much.” Shall we say “too good to be true?” they refused, they left. With sadness, we read: “…many of His disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied Him.”

The master stands by His words; His words are true, His invitation holds. He confronts the other disciples(and us): “Do you also want to leave?”

We answer with St. Peter “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

We are before the mystery of divine choice and human freedom. “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As children we had a game of trying to surpass one another: “I want one million pesos.” Another would say: “I am the president’s son.” Now, I would answer: “I have the Lord Jesus, I have everything.” (Fr. Willy Villegas, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

2007 Believe and alive!

In my 23 years with the Society of Divine Word (SVD) I haven’t stayed just in one place. I was always on the move, changing places and assignments, relating with different people, communities, cultures, learning different languages and the like. Personally I also went through a constant process of change. In every single step there was a need for discernment and decision making. Does it make any sense at all? Yes it does. The language of faith is hard to understand but it is the only way of life. With so many experiences in my religious life, it is this faith that sustains me, faith in God’s presence and love.

Faith is what characterizes every Christian and it is always put to the test by the values and concern of today’s world. We have to make a decision on what we believe and live by it. Turning our attention to the gospel today, Jesus sets a deadline. The time has arrived for the disciples to make a decision; a decision that was commanded by their faith, a faith that guided their lives later on. Going back to ourselves,, what is our stand? What do we believe? And how can we live it? (Fr. Marcelo Cattaneo, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

2008 In one TV program, ace comedian Dolphy was asked what the navel was for; why was a tiny depression placed by the Creator in that particular part of the body. Dolphy replied, “It’s where one puts salt when eating balut while lying down!” Simple and practical!

In another TV documentary, doctors in England were shown using maggots to treat sores on diabetes patients.

Who would have thought that navels and maggots would have such useful purposes in life? But I believe that this is the scheme of everything in creation; each has a purpose in relation to other beings. And we humans are part of this scheme. We must diligently seek our purpose in life otherwise, living without purpose is mere existing. To exist without a purpose is to be without meaning. Purpose and meaning provide us with the strength to keep on keeping on with life. They fuel our enthusiasm and will to move on.

But purpose and meaning in humans are not found in themselves; they lie beyond themselves. Living for oneself alone is an extremely boring and lifeless existence. Sadly, some people turn to drugs and self-destructive activities to alleviate the boredom and lack of purpose in their lives.

In contrast, saints and heroes have discovered that living their lives for others is the key to a happy and productive life. Even sickness and death gain meaning when accepted for the sake of others.

The words of Jesus open our eyes to the reason why we are here. His words point us to the right direction; they provide the driving force and the inspiration to keep on going, in spite of difficulties, trials, sickness, failures, and even death. His words are indeed ‘spirit and life.’ (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

2016 April 16, 2016 Saturday

The chaplain finally said, “No more new groups!” Filipino religiosity is a fact here in Rome. However, it also reveals a malady that weakens these otherwise lively, spiritual people. We tend to disintegrate into splinter communities because of misunderstandings and diverse grudges or animosities towards each other. This illness progressed into a “plague” when 10 or more groups began to pop up like crazy and each with a horror story to tell and axes to grind. When the Lord spoke of his body and blood as true food and true drink to be eaten and drunk, the followers began to distance from Him.

The parables, the miracles, and the friendship were ne but the Eucharistic teaching, the suffering, the crucifixion, the paschal mystery – were unacceptable. The offering of Spirit and Life – the very divine spirit life of God – was rejected because it demanded conversion, obedience and trust in the Son of God who, by his words, began to challenge their well-kept comforts of mind, body and spirit.

Thus, after spending time together, many stopped on their tracks and returned home, to their own selves, to the lives they had prior to the disturbance caused by the man of Nazareth. Except for Peter and the rest, where the friendship deepened and so was their faith in the Lord. The companionship no longer revolved around food, drink and sweet talk, but around the Lord and His Word, the mystery of His Eucharist and the encounter with fellow believers in Community, as the center of discipleship. “What kept you in the community after all these years?” I asked one community member of many, many years. She narrated her struggles and pains in and outside the community but concluded, “Nandito po ang Panginoon!” Call it cliché, corny or cheesy but didn’t Peter say of it as well? I think the question should have been, “Who kept you in the community after all these years?” (Fr. Ferdinand Bajao, SVD Rome, Italy Bible Diary 2016)

Source: rveritas-asia.org/index.php/daily-reflection/583-april-16-2016-saturday

2018 I had my regency in one of the parishes in Occidental Mindoro. This was in early seventies. At that time, practically the whole Catholic Philippines was very much involved in the Cursillo Movement, this was a four-day seminar on Catholic life and tenets, which included the Sacraments and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Candidates for the seminar came from the adult members of the Christian community. they would later on become the lay leaders of the parishes and eventually serve as lay ministers.

In the parish where I was assigned, it became vibrant and animated because of the movement. For some the Cursillo was an occasion to deepen their knowledge of the Catholic faith; for others, it was an opportunity to reform their way of life especially for the male candidates, so the wives hoped. Unfortunately, among the ‘graduates’ from the seminar, some went back to their former way of life (BSDU, Balik Sa Dating Ugali).

Indeed, it is true that no one can come to jesus unless it is granted him by the Father. No Cursillo Movement would do it except that it comes from God. In other words, faith is a GIFT from God. It is given to those who are open to the grace of God and are willing to make that faith operative in their lives. Simon Peter himself realized that to stay away from Jesus, after having known him, is to deprived of eternal life, so, we ask Simon Peter to pray for us that we will remain in God’s love (Fr. Antonio O. Pegon SVD, Bible Diary 2018)

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Friday of the 3rd Week of Easter

John 6:52-59

The Bread of Life Discourse

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from 365 Days with the Lord

GOSPEL:

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.

REFLECTION:

2007 As we all know, Catholics and Protestants disagree about several doctrinal issues. One of these is about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Protestants do not believe that the eucharistic bread and wine are literally the body and blood of Christ. While they do not agree among themselves as to the precise meaning of the words of consecration, “this is My body… this is the cup of My blood,” they usually reduce them to some merely symbolic meaning. We, Catholics, take these words literally, that is, as meaning what they say.

Now, one of our main arguments in favor of our interpretation is the part of Jesus’ speech on the Bread of Life which we find in today’s gospel reading. There we find in the words of Jesus an obvious reference to the Eucharist – which does not yet exist when Jesus pronounces His speech, but which He will institute later, during the Last Supper. Naturally, Protestants do not interpret these words of Jesus as a reference to the Eucharist. They interpret them as a metaphor for accepting His revelation. In this interpretation, to “eat” the “body” of Jesus would be the symbolic equivalent of believing in Him. In contrast to this, we, Catholics, say that the language of Jesus in this discourse does not support a merely symbolic meaning. It is too crude for that. Furthermore, they simply reproduce the words we hear in the account of the institution of the Eucharist: “Take, eat, this is My body… drink… this is My blood.” A confirmation of the Catholic interpretation is the fact that from the very first days of the Church, this passage has been understood as an advanced or anticipatory explanation of the Eucharist.

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is our greatest treasure, since it is Christ himself – body, blood, soul, divinity. A consequence of this is that our chapels and churches are never empty buildings. For they always contain a Presence, a Person, a Lover.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328

2008 Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist is contrary to our senses, to our science, and to our experience. Our senses indicate that what looks like bread is bread, and what looks like wine is wine. Our science looks into the texture, shape, and composition of material things, and tells us that the host continues to possess the properties of bread. Our experience shows that there’s no way that we can look at a Eucharistic host under a microscope and find a tiny Jesus.

Nevertheless, the God-given reality is that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. There are many ways of being present. People can stand before one another physically. Actors are present to us on a movie screen. Our departed loved ones are present to us in our hearts.

Our Lord’s Eucharistic presence is sacramental. The Church defines a sacrament as something material that brings about a spiritual reality. Thus, the bread and wine are not symbols: They’re signs. Every sacrament has an outward sign that gives grace: the pouring of water at Baptism, the exchange of vows at marriage, the words of absolution in the sacrament of Reconciliation, and so on. In the Eucharist, by God’s power the reality of the bread has truly become the reality of Jesus’ glorified body and the reality of the wine the reality of Jesus’ blood.

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328

2010 FLESH AND BLOOD

“Flesh and blood” is a phrase that can be understood from two different perspectives.
Relative to human beings, “flesh and blood” means man as a created, therefore, mortal, perishable entity. It is often used to contrast human beings with God and other “sky beings” (angels, spirits). When St. Paul says that he did not consult “flesh and blood” when he preached the Gospel after his conversion, he means that he received his commission from God directly, not from men, not even the apostles.
Relative to animals, “flesh and blood” is used to make proper distinction concerning what human beings may eat. Blood is always prohibited because blood is the life of the creature and it belongs to God. “Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” In the temple sacrifice, the blood is poured against the altar which represents God.
“Flesh” may directly refer to “fat” which, in Israel’s tradition, is considered the “seat of life” together with blood. “All the fat belongs to the Lord” (Lv 3:16). In the temple sacrifice, the fat is burned to go up in smoke to the Lord.
Thus the prohibitions single out animal parts that serve as the seat of life—because life is from God alone and belongs to God alone.
In the “anti-language” of John’s Gospel, Jesus says that his flesh and blood are the source of eternal life (Jn 6:54). Ironically, it is by eating what is “prohibited” as food to human beings that they are able to receive true life. During the Last Supper, Jesus turns the bread and wine into his body and blood and commands his followers to “take, eat, and drink.” To ingest Jesus’ flesh and blood is to believe, accept, and welcome him who offered his “body and blood” in the sacrifice of Calvary, and to offer the sacrifice in an un-bloody way in the Eucharist.

2012 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood: The Jews think of literally eating the flesh of the Son of Man and drinking his blood. For them this is a form of cannibalism. Besides, they are prohibited from drinking blood (cf Gn 9:4). Thus, they cannot understand and accept what Jesus is telling them.

Jesus here is pointing to the mystery of the Eucharist. His life will be a sacrificial offering on the altar of the cross. We who partake in the communion of his body and blood are closely united with him. We receive his redemption and forgiveness of our sins, the fullness of life and his promise of eternal life.

At the Eucharist, God gives us Jesus as food for eternal life. Jesus is the bread of life. His flesh is true food, and his blood is true drink. Unlike the Israelites who ate manna and died, we who feed on Jesus will live forever.
“You are what you eat.” Does your frequent Communion make you think like Jesus, speak like Jesus, and act like Jesus?

Source: ssp.ph/index.php/365-Days-with-the-lord/april-27-2012.html

2013 How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat? This objection gives Jesus the opportunity to insist that he is truly giving his real flesh and blood—his very self—to be consumed. The objection has a point. No mere man can give himself to be eaten and at the same time remain alive and life-giving. But in the gospel of John, Jesus is no mere man. He is truly the Son of God who became flesh (cf Jn 1:14). Jesus wants to give us his total self so that we may live from him whom we receive in the Eucharist.

Jesus presents himself as true food. But he is a different kind of food. While the ordinary food that we receive undergoes change and shares our human life, in Holy Communion it is we who share the life of the food that we receive.

In receiving Jesus,

we receive a share in Jesus’ divine life!

Source: graceandspace.org/welcome/home/365-days-with-the-lord/1690-the-bread-of-life-discourse-.html

2014 Whoever eats this bread will live forever: Jesus declares that the bread he is giving for the life of the world is his own flesh. The crowd’s reaction is immediate: “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?” But Jesus does not backtrack.

If we do not draw nourishment from him, Jesus declares, we will not live. In the Eucharistic bread that we partake in and the cup that we share, Jesus assures us of life in communion with him. If we just open our hearts to receive this gift, we will share in the communion that he enjoys with the Father. We will experience eternal life.

Jesus tells us that the believer who partakes of his flesh and blood will have perfect union with him. The believer will be incorporated into the divine family, thus sharing divine life in the sacrament.

When St. Peter Eymard, the apostle of the Eucharist, was at his deathbed, his followers asked him for a last thought. “No, I have nothing to say,” he replied. “You have the Holy Eucharist. Why do you want more?”

“As a person of faith, I see death as a friend,

as a transition from earthly life to life eternal”

(Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago).

Source: graceandspace.org/welcome/home/365-days-with-the-lord/2077-the-bread-of-life-discourse.html

2015 HOW CAN THIS MAN GIVE US HIS FLESH TO EAT?

The thought of feeding on human flesh is repulsive to most of Jesus’ hearers, as it remains likely to be to people today. Such an assertion demands some kind of explanation, and Jesus offers it.

In unmistakable language Jesus declares that his Flesh is food and his Blood is drink. Lest this claim go unnoticed, he states it four times (cf vv 53-56). In v 53, the verb “to eat” is more graphic because the Greek text uses the verb “to chew or masticate.”

The phrase “flesh and blood” is rich in meaning. On a literal level, it is a common way of characterizing a human being. When applied to Jesus, it is a proclamation of faith in the incarnation. He is indeed “flesh and blood.” On another level, it calls to mind the victim of sacrifice that is first slaughtered (Flesh and Blood) and then shared at a cultic meal (food and drink). Jesus is “Flesh and Blood” in this way as well, first as the sacrificial victim on the cross and then as Eucharistic food and drink.

The Christological interpretation of the manna has taken on new meaning here. The Flesh and Blood of Jesus have become the source of life for those who partake of it. In other words, eternal life has come from feeding on Jesus, not simply from believing in him. Jesus goes on further in his teaching on eternal life. He implies that it is not something that believers merely hope to enjoy in the future. Instead, those who share in the Eucharist already possess eternal life. What the future holds for them is the fullness of that life that will be enjoyed after the general resurrection on the last day.

Source: ssp.ph/index.php/component/zoo/item/april-24-2015

2016 HOW CAN THIS MAN GIVE US HIS FLESH TO EAT? Jesus’ discourse on the bread of life (yesterday’s Gospel) leads to a dispute among the Jews who ask, “How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” The response of Jesus is found in vv 53-58. The Jews misunderstand Jesus’ promise because they cannot go beyond the physical level. Jesus associates the separation of flesh and blood in a violent death as the moment of total giving of Himself (vv 53-54). Flesh is to be broken and blood to be spilled. Jesus will provide His Flesh and Blood as food for the life of the world. Hints on the Eucharist continue to be found in Jesus’ words. The Gospel concludes with a comparison between the bread that Israel’s ancestors ate in the desert and the bread that comes down from heaven (v 58). The Eucharistic self-giving manifested through the cross has a double meaning: Sacrificial death and table fellowship. The Eucharist here is depicted as a relationship of “abiding,” a mutual intimacy, where believers are drawn to the love of the Father and the Son. Our partaking of the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist makes us partakers of eternal life.

Our reception of Holy Communion unites us with the Blessed Trinity and with our brothers and sisters in the Catholic faith.

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328
mb.com.ph/the-bread-of-life-discourse-17/

2018 My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink

We have reached the summit of Jesus’ discourse on the Bread of Life. In the preceding revelation, Jesus refers to his person as “bread.” His words are also “bread.” This can refer to Jesus as the source of life and communion with God.

“Communion” of this bread is believing in Jesus.

But Jesus makes a deeper and more controversial claim: “Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life in you.” This is not simply believing in Jesus but real partaking of his body and blood, though not in a cannibalistic way. Jesus makes this possible in the sacrament of the Eucharist where the consecrated bread becomes his body and the consecrated wine becomes his blood. Again this communion is not just symbolic; it is real.

Pope John Paul II teaches that one aspect of the Eucharist that, more than any other, makes a demand on our faith is the mystery of the “real” presence. He writes: “With the entire tradition of the Church, we believe that Jesus is truly present under the Eucharistic species. This presence – as Pope Paul VI rightly explained – is called “real” not in an exclusive way, as if to suggest that other forms of Christ’s presence are not real, but par excellence, because Christ thereby becomes substantially present, whole and entire, in the reality of his body and blood” (Mane Nobiscum Domine, 16).

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328

tempo.com.ph/2018/04/20/the-bread-of-life-discourse-6/

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Thursday of the 3rd Week of Easter

John 6:44-51

The Bread of Life Discourse

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from 365 Days with the Lord

GOSPEL:

JESUS said to the crowd, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draw him, and I will raise Him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: ‘They shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to My Father and learns from Him comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world.”

REFLECTION:

2007 The prophet Hosea is the prophet who emphasized more than any other prophet God’s love for His people Israel. Through him God says: “I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart” (Hos 2:16). Elsewhere God says, referring to the Israelites: “I drew them with human cords, with bands of love” (Hos 11:4). Today’s gospel reading contains a hint as to how God proceeds in His efforts to bring about a conversion. He proceeds by an inward attraction or drawing of the sinner. In the words of Jesus: “No one can come to Me unless the Father… draw him.”

We can notice this action of the Father in the story of many conversions. Perhaps one of the most spectacular of these is that of St. Augustine as related in his Confessions. There we observe how God attracts Augustine slowly but surely by bringing him to abandon his false notions about the divinity and gradually discover Christ and the truth. But Augustine’s case is typical in that respect. As theologian Karl Rahner writes in the encyclopedia of theology Sacramentum Mundi in his article “Conversion:”

“From the Biblical and dogmatic point of view, man’s free turning to God has always to be seen as a response, made possible by God’s grace, to a call from God” (vol. II, p. 4).

The recent Catechism of the Catholic Church expresses itself in similar terms:

“The human heart,” it says, “is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart. Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to Him: ‘Lead us back to You, O Lord, that we may be restored’ (Lam 5:21). God gives us the strength to begin anew” (n. 1432).

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328

2007 Traditional Catholic spirituality on the Eucharist has focused on prayerful reflection and adoration of tAhe sacred species of the Bread and the Wine. A careful study and meditation of today’s Gospel, however, gives us another nuance in Jesus’ teaching about Himself as the “Bread of Life.” Jesus also means bread in the sense of food that sustains faith: His word and teaching.

We are reminded of Jesus’ words early in His ministry: “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4). God’s word in Jesus is “daily bread.” Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter for the Eucharistic Year 2004-2005, writes: “It is significant that the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, duly prepared by our Lord’s words, recognized Him at table through the simple gesture of the ‘breaking of the bread.’ When minds are enlightened and hearts are enkindled, signs begin to speak” (Mane Nobiscum Domine, n 14).

We should avoid a Eucharistic spirituality that reduces the Eucharist to the meal: The sacred species. The risen Jesus’ continuing gift of presence in the Eucharist comes in a package: Through Word and Sacrament.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328

2008 When Jesus speaks of Himself as the “bread of life” in the beginning of the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel, He means it in the sense of the food that sustains faith: His teaching. Only at the end of today’s section, and in the conclusion of this important chapter, does He refer to His bread of life as being the Eucharist.

Jesus was speaking in the Capernaum synagogue. There’s a theory that on the Sabbaths near Passover, the readings in the synagogues of Jesus’ day were taken from the early chapters of the Book of Genesis. There are, indeed, some parallels between those readings and Jesus’ words. Genesis says, for example, that we shall not eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden, lest we die (3:3); Jesus tells us that He’s giving the bread from heaven for people to eat and never die (v. 50). Genesis talks of God driving us out of the garden lest we try to live forever (3:22); Jesus says that anyone who eats of the Eucharist will live forever (v. 51).The two sides of Jesus’ gift of the bread of life – His Word and the sacrament of the Eucharist – are a package deal. We need both Word and Sacrament. As with Philip and the court official in the First Reading, God is always drawing each of us closer to the great-soulness that Jesus wants of us.

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328

2009 Manna in the desert: The story of the wilderness episode in the life of the Israelites is not a nice one. Moses was leading God’s chosen people away from the slavery of Egypt passing through the pitfalls and myriad dangers of the desert and they were about to enter into the promised land of Canaan. But due to their cowardice, incredulity, and sheer disobedience, a generation of them who endured the various hardships were banned from entering the land they dreamed of. It is as if at the very last lap of their journey they failed a down-to-the-wire finish. It seems that the manna they ate in the desert led them to a pathetic ending of that episode of their life as a people.

Here, it seems that history is about to repeat itself. Jesus promises eternal life for all those who will believe in him as the one God sent to liberate his people. He is the true bread which God gives in order to sustain his new people on their new journey toward the new promised land, heaven. Eternal life is enticingly great but it also costs so much. Nothing less than sheer faith in Jesus as the Messiah is needed to attain it. Those who will reject Jesus, refuse to take him as the bread from heaven, will surely face the danger of eternal death. They will be banned from entering heaven, the only promised land there is.

2010 TAUGHT BY GOD

Faith in Jesus is not the fruit of sheer human effort; it is a grace of God. It is the Father who draws men and women to Jesus, and, ultimately, to himself. Jesus says that this has already been prophesied: “They shall all be taught by God.” The words refer to only one specific text (Is 54:13), but the reference to the “prophets” indicates that the content of the pronouncement is true of the prophets in general.
The Isaian oracle says that the people of Judah who have come back from the Babylonian exile are afflicted and confused. God promises that he himself will impart to them true knowledge of salvation they so direly need. Being “taught by God” is a promise of future salvation. Jeremiah ties this with the gift of the new covenant: all people shall come to know the Lord… from the least to the greatest (Jer 31:33-34). In the New Testament, God teaches the believers how to love one another (1 Thes 4:9).
God offers salvation to all—“the Jews” included. But they do not want to receive God’s offer in the manner he wants them to receive it, namely, by coming to Jesus. They do not understand that the very thing they reject (Jesus who claims that he is the Son of God) is the very thing the Father wants for their salvation.
Still, nothing is “impossible” with God. “No one can come to me” is intended to show that “coming to Jesus” is not a matter of one’s own “knowledge” and possibilities. Faith and salvation have their radical reference to God who calls a person to do what he or she cannot do of himself or herself.

2012 I am the living bread: Jesus presents himself as the bread of life, the living bread that comes down from heaven. He gives eternal life. And Jesus invites us to partake of this bread so that we may live forever.

Jesus’ invitation is continually made at the celebration of the Eucharist. At the consecration, the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. In holy Communion, we receive Jesus in the form of the bread-made-body and wine-made-blood.

We draw spiritual nourishment and strength from the Eucharist. The sacrament sustains and gives us eternal life. At the Eucharist, we are united with Jesus. We become like him and for him.

Let us pray that each Eucharist we celebrate may help us speak and act like Jesus for others and be a source of strength and nourishment for our needy brothers and sisters.

How do I participate in the celebration of the Eucharist? 

Source: ssp.ph/index.php/365-Days-with-the-lord/april-26-2012.html

2013 Whoever eats this bread will live forever: It is amazing how Jesus insists on the truth that he is the bread of life and that those who believe in him will have eternal life. This insistence only highlights the fact that Jesus wants to give himself to us so that we may live, and he desires very much to be received by us.

Jesus, however, goes a step further when he says, “… the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (v 51). Here Jesus makes his promise of the gift of the Eucharist, where he gives himself to us in his own body and blood. The Eucharist, Christ’s body and blood, his very self given in the form of bread and wine, is “the mystery of faith.” As Jesus presented himself to the Jews then as the bread of life to be accepted in faith, he gives himself today in the Eucharist to be received by us in faith.

In Holy Communion, your “Amen!”

proclaims your faith in receiving the Body of Christ.

Source: graceandspace.org/welcome/home/365-days-with-the-lord/1689-the-bread-of-life-discourse-.html

2014 The bread that I will give… is my flesh: Jesus hits an unacceptable note when he tells this straight to the crowd and his disciples. He teaches them two things about “flesh.” First, flesh here means weakness or vulnerability. Even Jesus accepts the human condition, with its share of discouragement, pain, and despair. Second, flesh is also what draws us together in our common dependence on or submission to God. All of us are related to Jesus and with one another because Jesus has shared in our humanity and has poured out his blood for us all.

Painfully aware of his limitations, a Dutch spiritual author of our times has written: “I’m saying I am very weak, broken, sinful, fragile, and short-living person—but I rejoice in it. I stand under the cross of my own suffering, or of God’s suffering, but I can stand. I don’t have to fall apart. I stand with my head erect.”

“The only remedy for (moral) frailty is divine assistance. Persons have need of a higher energy… Jesus wished to communicate this energy to us in a habitual manner through the Eucharist” (Eucharist, Gift of Divine Life).

Source: graceandspace.org/welcome/home/365-days-with-the-lord/2076-the-bread-of-life-discourse.html

2015 THE BREAD I WILL GIVE IS MY FLESH FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD

To claim to be “the living bread that came down from heaven” is tantamount to saying,        “I am the bread of life” (v 48) and identifying it further as “the bread that comes down from heaven” (v 50). In other words, “the living bread” is the “bread of life.” It is “living” bread because it is “from God” (v 46; cf 5:26) who alone gives life. Consequently, only the bread “from God” can give eternal life and hence is truly “the bread of life” (6:35, 48; cf 6:31).

This identification is made more explicit by insisting that the “bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world” (v 51). It is to be noted, first, that the bread is to be given “for the life of the world,” i.e., for the whole world, for all who dwell on the face of the earth without exception. Second, the manner of formulating the giving of the bread “for the life of the world” is a reference to the redeeming death of Jesus on the cross.

  1. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us”(Jn 1:14) and gave his life for the life of the world.

Source: ssp.ph/index.php/component/zoo/item/april-23-2015

2016 I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. Twice Jesus says, “I am the bread” (vv 48 and 51), drawing out the contrast between the manna in the wilderness, that had no power over death, and the true manna, Jesus’ flesh, that is “the life of the world” (v 51). The prophets foretold that people would all be taught by God (v 45a, a free quotation from Is 54:13). Jesus asks the Jews to listen to Him who makes the Father known. Jesus is the only one who has seen the Father (as described in Jn 1:1-18), making Him the only one capable of revealing the Father. Jesus makes the Father visible for all believers. Jesus again emphasizes the significance of faith: Whoever believes has eternal life (v 47). For the evangelist John, eternal life does not happen “beyond the grave” but is present here and now in our encounter with Jesus and His message. V 51 refers to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the salvation of the world. Our salvation then depends on whether we share in this sacrifice.

“I am the bread of life.” What does this declaration mean to you personally?

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328

mb.com.ph/the-bread-of-life-discourse-16/

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