Sunday 16th August – 20th Sunday of the year
Reflection: John 6: 51-58
The fear of death is the greatest human fear and the root of most other fears. Despite the ups and downs of life, nobody really wants to die. Except in rare situations when people have lost all hope and resort to suicide, the general tendency is to hang on to life – to survive at whatever cost. Yet, the physical death all humans are destined to undergo is not really the most fearful thing. There’s a more fearful death – spiritual death which is an eternal separation from God, the source of all life.
We can choose to avert spiritual death both in this world and in the next through our obedience to Jesus’ words: “I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever” (Jn 6:51). At our baptism, the seed of eternal life, life in union with God is sown in us. Yet, this life can be threatened and even snuffed out by sin and many people who are well and healthy physically are truly spiritually dead; a state that renders our physical life of no value.
Beloved, in the Eucharist, Jesus offers us his very life. He gives us a medicine for sin, an antidote for death, and food for immortality. Do you appreciate this free gift that guarantees your living forever? Do you instead abandon the Eucharistic table around which the Christ summons us each day and prefer to chase after churches that promise you wealth and victory in the absence of the Body and blood of our Blessed Lord? Or have you separated yourself from the Eucharist because of sin? Today, our Lord reminds us: “If you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you.” (Jn 6:53). Embracing Jesus’ call ensures that we are always in a state of grace and hence gives us victory over sin. Embrace that call today and have the assurance of eternal life.
PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for the gift of the Eucharist. Please help me to embrace this gift of eternal life you offer me and be strengthened to live the holy life to which you call me. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1393 – Holy Communion separates us from sin, the body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is “given up for us”, and the blood we drink “shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins.” For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins.
HIDE A TREASURE: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” John 6: 56
Today’s Readings: Proverbs 9: 1-6; Psalm 34: 2-3, 10-15; Eph 5: 15-20; John 6: 51-58