3rd Week of Easter, Friday

Readings: Acts 9:1–20; Psalm 117; John 6:52–59.

Today’s Gospel is a key passage for the teaching on the sacrament of the Eucharist. Our Lord leaves no room for interpreting his words about being the Bread of Life as something metaphorical. It’s not just his teaching, his example, and his leadership that “nourish” us and sustain our lives; he wants to be a real food and drink that give us an unparalleled spiritual nourishment, one that will sustain us all the way to eternal life. This is not just a comfortable banquet from the larder of a generous person; it is a meal of flesh and blood that implies worship and sacrifice.

The Jews in today’s Gospel are quarreling because they know he is not just speaking metaphorically and the thought of eating another person repulses them. Once again they are trying to understand before they believe. In this case, understanding is trying to work something out in their head that cannot be worked out apart from faith. The Eucharist is something so amazing that theology had to formulate new terms to describe it on the basis of faith, such as transubstantiation and the Real Presence of Christ.

Pick one Church teaching today that’s hard for you to understand or accept and ask Our Lord to help you to try and process it more with faith and not so much by reason alone. You’ll be amazed what horizons faith can open to understanding something.

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