Jesus said to the 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.” ( John 6:51). This Sunday, we continue reading the sixth chapter
of the Gospel of Saint John and Jesus’ teaching on the Holy Eucharist. Jesus tells us
that at Mass, when we receive His glorified Body and Blood in Holy Communion, we
remain in Him.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, our life on earth is not some dress rehearsal. God
the Father, Son and Holy Spirit has made us for Himself, to be with Him forever in
Heaven. Along the journey, He strengthens us with His gifts of prayer and of His
Church, Word and Sacraments, most especially the Holy Eucharist, where Jesus is really,
truly and substantially present. God directs us to use our time well and to remain close
to Him, in deep communion with Him, to the point that He actually gives us His very
self in the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. “Through Holy Communion, Christ teaches
us to look upon the present with the eyes of eternity” (Father Francis Fernandez, In
Conversation with God, vol. 4).
In the Holy Eucharist, we find the strength from Our Lord that we need to undertake
what remains of the journey to God the Father’s House ( John 14:1-6). Saint John
Vianney, patron of parish priests, said: The Holy Eucharist “is an eternal pledge to us.
It assures us of Heaven. This is the dowry sent to us by Heaven as a promise that one
day it will be our resting place. What is more, Jesus Christ will cause our bodies to rise
again with greater glory, insofar as we have frequently and reverently received Him in
Pope Saint John Paul II has said that in the Holy Eucharist, the sacrament of God’s
love, Jesus Christ “gives shelter to the traveler worn out by the roughness of the road.
Christ comforts man with the warmth of His understanding and love. In the Eucharist
there is the fulfillment of those sweet words: ‘Come to me, all you who labor and are
burdened, and I will give you rest,’ (Matthew 11:28). This personal and profound
assistance is to be found in the divine Bread that Christ offers to us at the Eucharistic
Altar. This is our final end as we travel the ways of this world” (Homily, July 9, 1980).
Faithful to God, we will, by God’s grace, enter into Heaven, when the promise of Jesus
Christ will become for us a reality – our life joined to the Life for all eternity. Let us
pray: Thank You, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for the strength You give us in
the Bread from Heaven to travel with human and supernatural dignity upon this earth,
our eyes fixed firmly on our purpose: Life Eternal in Heaven. Amen.
With peace and prayers in Christ,