Finding the Bread for Life

May 4, 2017 – Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread will live forever.  Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (6:44-51)

Jesus said to the crowds:
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.”

 

Reflect: Whoever eats this bread will live forever. Jesus wants us to live forever.  He expended himself entirely on the cross so that we could be redeemed.  By rising from the dead he proves that what he offers to the world is not something finite and temporary like the manna that fed God’s people in the desert; that bread sustained them temporarily, but they died.  On the other hand, Jesus feeds us with his Body and Blood and promises that if we eat of that living bread, we will not die.  Of course, we know of countless people in our own lives who believed and have died. Could Jesus be making up a story?  Absolutely not! The living bread that Jesus offers, his Body and Blood, the Holy Eucharist, is actually the food that feeds our souls and accompanies us into the everlasting Kingdom of God. Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.  The Communion of Saints – all those holy ones who have preceded us in an earthly death – surrounds us and encourages us to believe that everything that Jesus promised is the truth. He feeds us with the bread of life because it is impossible for us to negotiate the challenges of this world unless we are sustained by his life – the Victor over sin and death; the Savior of the World.  As we receive and believe in Jesus’ Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, we are fed with the incomparable bread of life that provides not only the grace we need in this world but also what carries us into eternal life.

Questions: Do I trust that Jesus loves me so much that he actually wants to feed me with his Body and Blood for eternal life? Why would Jesus promise me something if he really didn’t mean it?

Pray: Loving God, feed me with your Body and Blood so that I might receive the grace I need to confront the temptations of this world and meet you face to face in heaven. May what I receive here sustain me for everlasting life. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Christ died for all, that those who live may live no longer for themselves, but for him, who died for them and is risen. Alleluia!

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ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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