WILL YOU ALSO GO AWAY?

Sunday 23rd August – 21st Sunday of the year

Reflection: John 6: 60-69

WILL YOU ALSO GO AWAY?

The crowds were often filled with admiration at Jesus’ words but today’s response was different. Though they eagerly sought Jesus out in the earlier verses of John 6, the chapter ends on a different note: “After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him” (Jn 6:66). However, Jesus response to his massive loss of disciples is even more startling. Rather than going after them he made the apostles realise that they were free to leave too. Peter’s response shows that though the apostles did not understand Jesus’ teaching on “eating His flesh and drinking His blood”, they had grown to trust Him as the Son of God who “has the message of eternal life.”

The Catholic Church, established by Christ Himself as history testifies, possesses the fullness of the Christian faith as handed down to us by the apostles. Many truths have been compromised by majority of Christian groups – truths about the Eucharist, baptism, salvation through faith and works, contraception, abortion, homosexual unions, carrying our crosses etc. – truths which have constantly been upheld by the Catholic Church. Yet, many young people are carried away by the excitement and noise these other Christian communities offer and do not care about living out the truth.

Dear friend, Jesus asks you today too: “will you also go away?” Just as Christ did not compromise his teaching to appease the crowd in today’s gospel reading, His Church will not either. The apostles persisted with Christ and came to understand His words more fully after His resurrection. You have the fullness of the Christian faith as a Catholic. Don’t let this great treasure go to waste. Seek to deepen your friendship with Christ through an active faith life – prayers, the Eucharist, confession, Bible study and seek to understand your Catholic faith through study and prayers. Only then would you be able to respond like St Peter did: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life.”

PRAYER: Thank you dear Lord for the priceless gift of my faith. Please help me to embrace it in trust and true commitment so that it may lead me to the holiness of life to which you call me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 870 – The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic…subsists on the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines.

HIDE A TREASURE: “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” John 6:63 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Joshua 24: 1-2, 15-18; Psalm 34: 2-3, 16-23; Ephesians 5: 21-32; John 6: 60-69

LIVING FOREVER

Sunday 16th August – 20th Sunday of the year

Reflection: John 6: 51-58

LIVING FOREVER

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

BREAD OF LIFE


Monday 20th April – Monday of the 3rd week of Eastertide

Reflection: John 6:22-29

BREAD OF LIFE

Today’s world is filled with billions of people who profess to be Christians. Look around you, almost everyone in your class, office or neighbourhood is a Christian. Many of us Christians, including Catholics who have been baptized and received Communion for years still do not have the passion to live the life of holiness to which we are called. Though we receive Him in the Eucharist, we are ignorant of the immense power He bestows on us.

Christ has given us his very self as food for our souls. He wants his entire being, spirit, soul and body to dwell in us so that we may hunger and thirst no more for perishable things but for things that have eternal value. This was why he told the people in today’s reading: “Do not work for food that goes bad; instead, work for food that lasts for eternal life” (John 6:27). Dear friend, Christ’ offering of self will be of no benefit to us if we do not seek to know and approach him as He reveals himself to us in various ways.

Jesus’ multiplication of the loaves to satisfy the hunger of the crowd was a sign to prefigure the giving of Himself as the bread of life and set the stage for the long and revolutionary discourse on the Eucharist; the meal which transcends death and opens the gates of heaven to those who eat it (John 6: 54). Thus as we receive Christ in the Eucharist, let us ask God for a deeper insight into the mystery of the Eucharist so that we will be empowered to live as Christ did. It would renew the grace of Baptism and strengthen our personal relationship with God.

Thank God for this precious gift of himself and seek to be open to him so that the Mass can make much more meaning to you.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for your desire to live in me, please help me to hunger for the food that endures to eternal life. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 221 – How does Holy Communion change me?

Every Holy Communion unites me more deeply with Christ, makes me a living member of the Body of Christ, renews the graces that I received in Baptism and Confirmation, and fortifies me for the battle against sin. 

HIDE A TREASURE: “What God wants you to do is to believe in the one he sent”. John 6:29 GNB

Today’s Readings: Acts 6:8-15; Psalm 119: 23-30; John 6: 22-29