Thought of the Day July 5, 2018 Eucharist

By 9:50 AM

But these were mere foreshadowings of the real and intimate  presence God desires with his people. The type gives way to the reality in the person of Jesus Christ. The word of revelation tells us: “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth “ (Jn 1:14).  When Joseph was told that Mary’s conception was by the power of the Holy Spirit, the angel said that the child shall be known as Emmanuel–God with us.

This specific intention of God is further enunciated in John 6. Here, Jesus reveals the mystery of the Eucharistic gift of himself:
a) for real, spiritual nourishment leading to eternal life,
b) for real, enduring presence, satisfying the desire of the heart and
c) for real, intimate relationship, resulting in  union with God.

A) Real, Spiritual nourishment leading to eternal life: Behold I am  with you always. How?
Jesus said: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day” (Jn 6:54)

The first point I want to make is our nature as human beings is such that, because we are made in God's own image and likeness, we will live forever. Death will only conclude our earthly existence, but we will continue to live.  Death will be the door through which we transition from temporal existence to eternal existence. That is why Paul could proclaim: “O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting? (1 Cor 15:55)

The lie of the Evil One is that we are to fear death's finality. The truth revealed by God is that he created us for himself. That is why he made us in his own image and likeness. The only death we are to fear is the second death which is eternal damnation. Listen to St. Ignatius of Antioch who  wrote in his Letter to the Ephesians: “...breaking one Bread, which is the medicine of immortality, the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ.” 

However, though we will exist forever, whether we live forever with God or alienated from God depends on the grace of God and our free will response to his grace. We believe with faith assurance based on his promise that because God loves us, he will freely give his grace for us to live with him. “For God wants all to be saved and come to know the truth” (1 Tim 2:3)  But not without our cooperation. For our response to his love will be depended on our love relationship with God.

The second point is because he created us, Jesus knows that human life is dependent on the nourishment of food and drink to sustain it. For this reason God provided manna--bread from heaven--in the desert and water from the rock to provide for the physical needs of the people of the Old Covenant during their purification sojourn in the desert.

What is true in reference to our physical existence is equally true as far as our sharing the divine life as adopted sons and daughters.  Physical food sustains our physical life; spiritual food, our divine life.  After being fed miraculously  with physical food in a deserted place, the people sought Jesus because of their great spiritual hunger. He told them that they should hunger for the real Bread from heaven--his Body and Blood. This is the true Bread and drink which will nourish us into eternal life. To eat the Bread of Life is to partake even now in the eternal banquet of God in his everlasting kingdom. (To Be continued)

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