DAILY MASS, GOSPEL AND COMMENTARY: MY FLESH IS TRUE FOOD (Jn 6:51-58).
MASS OF CORPUS CHRISTI SUNDAY
GOSPEL OF THE SOLEMNITY OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, YEAR A
Jesus said to the Jewish crowds: “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.”
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 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.
The Solemnity of Corpus Christ or the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ is geared towards reminding us of the love and adoration which are due to the true, real and substantial presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
In today’s Gospel, we see how Our Lord’s words created a confusion and consequent rebellion to some of his disciples:
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
But Jesus once more insisted saying: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. (Jn 6:50-57).”
- Pope Benedict XVI said: “Precisely because this is a mysterious reality that surpasses our understanding, we must not be surprised if today too many find it hard to accept the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It cannot be otherwise. This is how it has been since the day when, in the synagogue at Capernaum, Jesus openly declared that he had come to give us his flesh and his blood as food (cf. Jn 6: 26-58).
- This seemed “a hard saying” and many of his disciples withdrew when they heard it. Then, as now, the Eucharist remains a “sign of contradiction” and can only be so because a God who makes himself flesh and sacrifices himself for the life of the world throws human wisdom into crisis.“
We could examine ourselves: do we believe in Jesus’ true, real and substantial presence in the Holy Eucharist?
- Let us remember that if we believe that He is God, —and therefore omnipotent, all-powerful, thus, to him nothing is impossible—, then why do some of us doubt his words?
- If so many outstanding miracles, thousands and even more have been declared as authentic by the Catholic Church as a requirement in order to declare a person as saint, why can’t people believe that Jesus Himself could perform this miracle daily during the Holy Mass because He is a God who loves us?
- Do we realise that out of love for us, He instituted this sacrament in order to be united with us, nourish us and accompany us in our journey?
– “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them,
“This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many (Mk 14:22-24).”
“I am with you always, till the end of the age (Mt 28:20)”.
- This is my body…the bread I will give is my flesh…His words leave no room for doubt…Thus, Jesus’ presence is NOT a symbolic one, but rather, a REAL, SUBSTANTIAL and TRUE presence. His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity are present in the Holy Eucharist.
- As the Catechism n. 1374 teaches: “In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.’ ‘This presence is called ‘real’ – by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because IT IS PRESENCE IN THE FULLEST SENSE: THAT IS TO SAY, IT IS A SUBSTANTIAL PRESENCE BY WHICH CHRIST, GOD AND MAN, MAKES HIMSELF WHOLLY AND ENTIRELY PRESENT.’”
Truly, the miracle of TRANSUBSTANTIATION during the moment of consecration of the Holy Mass, is an invention of His Omnipotence and Love, to be with us, His Beloved.
Let us thank Our Lord for not abandoning us, ever ready to receive us, console, strengthen and listen to us…Let us correspond to His Love with our untiring adoration and love for the Most Holy Eucharist: souls in love with Jesus really, truly and substantially present in the the Most Holy Eucharist.
VIDEO COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S GOSPEL.
It was only after the Protestant reformers rejected the Catholic doctrine that the bread and wine becomes the body and blood of Christ did this debate start.
When miracles happen, we cannot really explain them. Science cannot explain the healing that happens for extreme cases of physical infirmity that have no medical cure. Many Stage 4 cancer patients, those in coma on life support, and even those seniors who have been intubated in this current pandemic – have all been miraculously healed.
So why can we not believe that the bread and wine actually become body and blood – and not merely symbolisms, when Jesus himself declared that “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.” (John 6:54-56).
Many Christian scholars have studied this through the centuries.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, venerable Church Father of the fourth century convincingly wrote: “Since then Christ has declared and said of the bread, “This is my Body,” who after that will venture to doubt? And seeing that He has affirmed and said, “This is my blood,” who will raise a question and say it is not His blood?”
Awesome proof of this miracle called transubstantiation have been documented and recorded in history.