Rev. Anthony Giamello
Pastor, St. John the Apostle/St. Bernadette
Jesus’ dialogue with the Jews in today’s gospel no longer deals with manna, but with His very Person: the Revealer who brings us God’s salvation. Although John chapter 6 does not name the Holy Eucharist, Jesus’ words remind us of the centrality of the Eucharist as the primary source of our spiritual nourishment.
Jesus knows quite well that we need both spiritual and physical food for life’s journey. He offers both to us. Thus, the sacrifice, the meal that we share at the Eucharistic table provides the food for this journey “viaticum”. Furthermore, He tells us that this Bread from Heaven is His Flesh, given for the life of the world. The Jews, as well as Jesus’ disciples, understood that he was speaking literally when he said that His Body was food. This statement appeared to some as outrageous and impossible. (Even 2,000 years later this statement is still hard to accept).
Later in the discourse, Jesus will insist that His words must be accepted literally, and that His Father will draw all to accept them. Hence let us accept Jesus as the Heavenly Bread, medicine for the sick soul, nourishment for a wounded spirit, light and strength for a weary mind and the source of new and eternal life. May we be mindful of what we receive at every Holy Mass celebrated throughout the world, Jesus’ true body and true blood – spiritual food for the journey.
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