19th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)

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 (Jn 6: 50-51).”

Today’s Sunday Gospel is a continuation of Jesus’ Discourse on the Holy Eucharist found in chapter 6 of St. John which we have dealt with in the past 2 consecutive weeks. Nevertheless, in this Sunday’s readings, we can center our reflection on three important ideas: (1) Jesus, the Bread of Life is the ultimate source of strength in order to live our Christian life; (2)The Bread of Life is Jesus’ flesh and this brings us to consider His amazing and endless Love for each one of us; (3) Receiving Jesus in through Communion demands living his Life, which is nothing but the logic of Love.

  1. Jesus, the Bread of Life, is the ultimate source of strength in order to faithfully live our Christian life.
  • In the Holy Eucharist, we receive Jesus: not only the grace of the sacrament, but the Author of Grace Himself.
  • Christian life is a struggle, just as human life is. The fact that the 1st reading speaks to us about how Elijah “got up, ate, and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb (1Kgs 19:8),” the Holy Eucharist for us is a necessity if we are to reach our ultimate mountain of God: Heaven. Hence, the more we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist in proper dispositions during the week, the better.
  1. The Bread of Life is Jesus’ flesh and this brings us to consider His amazing and endless Love for each one of us.
  • Jesus’ words leave no room for doubt: “the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world (Jn 6:51).” Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is the same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, grew in Nazareth and died in Calvary. And all these for what motive? Love!
  • Love seeks union with the Beloved and since Jesus could do it and His love, aside from being intense and endless, is inventive and powerful, He instituted this Sacrament so that He can remain with us and be with us always after His Ascension into Heaven. Such is the force ─the madness!─ of Jesus’ love for us in the Holy Eucharist.

He was the greatest madman of all times. What greater madness could there be than to give oneself as he did, and for such people? It would have been mad enough to have chosen to become a helpless Child. But even then, many wicked men might have been softened, and would not have dared to harm him. So this was not enough for him. He wanted to make himself even less, to give himself more lavishly. He made himself food, he became Bread.
(St. Josemaria, Forge, n. 824)

Jesus has remained within the Eucharist for love… of you. He has remained, knowing how men would treat him… and how you would treat him. He has remained so that you could eat him, so that you could visit him and tell him what’s happening to you; and so that you could talk to him as you pray beside the Tabernacle, and as you receive him sacramentally; and so that you could fall in love more and more each day, and make other souls, many souls, follow the same path. (St. Josemaria, Forge, n. 887)

  1. Receiving Jesus in through Communion demands living his Life, which is nothing but the logic of Love.
  • Love begets love. And Jesus’ love for us awaits our correspondence. Let us not get accustomed with Jesus when we receive Him in Communion, knowing that He expects us to live a Eucharistic coherence, which is to live His life, which is nothing but to “LIVE IN LOVE,” as St. Paul encourages us in the 2nd reading: “So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma (Eph 5:2). ”
  • To LIVE IN LOVE not only requires from each one of us to be “be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ (Eph 4:32).” It means to LOVE AS CHRIST LOVED US: that is, a love which knows how to SACRIFICE one’s self for the sake of the beloved, a love which leads to FORGETTING ONE’S SELF in order to carry out that which makes the beloved happy, in spite of the difficulties this may carry with it; a love which is willing TO SAY “NO” TO ONE’S PRIDE, AMBITIONS, EGOISM, LOVE OF COMFORT, SENSUALITY, LAZINESS…to do that which has to be done for love of God, as Our Lord Jesus Christ did! Are we willing to love God in this way? As Christ loved us?

Dear friends, let us thank the Most Blessed Trinity for the UNFATHOMABLE LOVE AND MERCY He has for us. Let us also ask God for A MORE CONSCIOUS AWARENESS OF JESUS’ LOVE FOR US AND HIS REAL PRESENCE IN THE HOLY EUCHARIST, leading to a MORE FREQUENT RECEPTION OF HOLY COMMUNION in the best spiritual dispositions and to a LIVE OUR LIFE IN LOVE, AS CHRIST LOVED US, unafraid of self-abnegation, sacrifice, ─the daily Cross!─, for the sake of our love for God.

This we ask through the intercession of Our Lady and St. Joseph, the persons who best knew how to love Jesus during his life on earth and through St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, co-patroness of Europe whose feast we celebrate as well today.

-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei. CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.

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