Friday, April 15, 2016
Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Today's readings from the USCCB
Acts 9:1-20 (RSVCE)
The conversion of Saul... the great persecutor and murderer of Christians is confronted by the risen Jesus and struck blind and in his blindness he finally is able to see as Anani′as is sent to pray for him to have his sight restored and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. God can take anyone no matter how far from Him he might seem and bring him to faith.
John 6:52-59 (RSVCE)
As is pointed out in the footnote to verse 52, when the people ask "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Jesus does not explain it away, but reemphasizes the reality of it. Jesus does not say, "Oh it's just symbolic, but instead he pushes it further.
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” 59 This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caper′na-um.
The Eucharist is not symbolic, note the "Truly, truly, I say to you" double emphasis, he is saying that it is the very body and blood of our Lord. You are what you eat it is said, and in this case it is even more true than usual. It is through the Holy Eucharist that we are brought into both physical and spiritual communion with Jesus Christ and His Body, which is the church. What a fantastic gift!