20th Sunday of Ordinary Time: RECEIVING JESUS IN THE HOLY COMMUNION IS A COMMITMENT TO LIVE HIS LIFE, TO LIVE IN HIM AND FOR HIM.

20th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
THE LOGIC OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST.
RECEIVING JESUS IN THE HOLY COMMUNION
IS A COMMITMENT TO LIVE HIS LIFE, TO LIVE IN HIM AND FOR HIM.

OUTLINE

  1. THE EUCHARIST AS A PLEDGE OF ETERNAL LIFE AND A GUARANTEE OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY.
  2. THE HOLY EUCHARIST IS OUR SPIRITUAL FOOD AND DRINK.
  3. “THE ONE WHO FEEDS ON ME WILL HAVE LIFE BECAUSE OF ME.” RECEIVING JESUS IN HOLY COMMUNION IS NOT ONLY TO LIVE “ETERNALLY” BECAUSE OF HIM BUT IS ALSO A COMMITMENT TO LIVE HIS LIFE, TO LIVE IN HIM AND FOR HIM.

 

In this Sunday’s Mass, the Gospel presents to us anew Jesus’ Eucharistic Discourse in Jn 6, indicating that after hearing Jesus’ words, some of his listeners manifested their incredulity on how Jesus could feed them with His Flesh. Jesus nevertheless insisted again that He is the Living Bread from heaven and His Flesh and Blood are real food and drink and are the source of Life:

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.

This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (Jn 6: 54-58)

These revealing words of Our Lord contain evident but profound realities concerning His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist and its consequences. Among the many ideas we can glean from them, we can reflect on the following: (1) The Eucharist is a pledge of eternal life and a guarantee of the resurrection of the body; (2) The Holy Eucharist is our spiritual food and drink; (3) Receiving Jesus in Holy Communion is not only to live “eternally” because of him but is also a commitment to live his life, to live in him and for him.

1. THE EUCHARIST AS A PLEDGE OF ETERNAL LIFE AND A GUARANTEE OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY.

  • “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day (Jn 6:54).
  • Jesus used the graphic words ‘EAT’ and ‘DRINK’, indicating that He was not speaking symbolically nor metaphorically, but rather indicating that the Communion, is a real meal, a real banquet, where Jesus gives Himself to us.
  • When we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, we receive HIS BODY and HIS BLOOD, which nourish us in our daily life as Christians and at the same time a pledge of eternal life and a guarantee of the resurrection of the body.

2. THE HOLY EUCHARIST IS OUR SPIRITUAL FOOD AND DRINK.

  • In the same way as we need food to nourish and maintain our body, Holy Communion is necessary for nourishing and maintaining the life of the soul. This is the reason why the Church exhorts us to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist frequently:

Every day, as is desirable, and in the greatest possible numbers, the faithful must take an active part in the sacrifice of the Mass, avail themselves of the pure, holy refreshment of Holy Communion and make a suitable thanksgiving in return for this great gift of Christ the Lord. Here are words they should keep in mind: ‘Jesus Christ and the Church desire all Christ’s faithful to approach the sacred banquet every day. The basis of this desire is that they should be united to God by the sacrament and draw strength from it to restrain lust, to wash away the slight faults of daily occurrence and to take precautions against the more serious sins to which human frailty is liable’ (Decree of the S.C. of the Council, 20 December 1905 cited in Pope Paul VI, Mysterium fidei).”

3. “THE ONE WHO FEEDS ON ME WILL HAVE LIFE BECAUSE OF ME.” RECEIVING JESUS IN HOLY COMMUNION IS NOT ONLY TO LIVE “ETERNALLY” BECAUSE OF HIM BUT IS ALSO A COMMITMENT TO LIVE HIS LIFE, TO LIVE IN HIM AND FOR HIM.

  • As we said in the 1st point, the Eucharist is a pledge of eternal life which already began here on earth when the soul in grace is intimately united with the Blessed Trinity. St. Augustine once said that when we receive Jesus in the Holy Communion, Jesus transforms us, gives us His Life and assimilates us into Him, and this is contrary to what happens with human food which after digestion, forms part of our being.
  • If Jesus then gives us His Life and we become part of Jesus, RECEIVING OUR LORD THEN IS A COMMITMENT TO LIVE HIS LIFE, TO LIVE IN HIM AND FOR HIM. Reception of the Holy Eucharist demands from us a “EUCHARISTIC COHERENCE”, that is, to live Christ’s life, to be “other Christs”. We cannot be people “who receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments (Pope Francis as Cardinal Bergoglio, Speech, October 2, 2007). John Paul II said:

“To celebrate the Eucharist, ‘to eat his flesh and drink his blood’, means to accept the wisdom of the Cross and the path of service. It means that we signal our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for others, as Christ has done.”

Dear friends, let us then ask ourselves, if we receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, HOW DO WE STRIVE TO LIVE AS CHRIST LIVED, TO IDENTIFY OURSELVES WITH CHRIST: TO THINK, FEEL, WANT, ACT AND LIVE IN THE SAME MANNER AS CHRIST DID ON EARTH? FOR THIS IS NOTHING ELSE BUT TO STRIVE FOR HOLINESS.

Let us then ask the intercession of Our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary so that
WE MAY FULLY AND GENEROUSLY COMMIT OURSELVES TO A LIFE COHERENT WITH CHRIST’S LIFE, TO LIVE IN CHRIST AND TO LIVE FOR CHRIST, FOR LOVE; thus, WE WILL “LIVE” BECAUSE OF CHRIST WE HAVE RECEIVED IN THE HOLY EUCHARIST,
as He himself said: “the one who feeds on me will have life because of me”.

-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei. CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS.

 

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