“I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Proverbs 9:1-6

Wisdom has built her house, she has set up her seven columns; she has dressed her meat, mixed her wine, yes, she has spread her table. She has sent out her maidens; she calls from the heights out over the city: “Let whoever is simple turn in here; To the one who lacks understanding, she says, Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed! Forsake foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding.”

Ephesians 5:15 - 20

Brothers and sisters: Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord. And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

John 6:51 - 58

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.” 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.”

What Jesus said to the people in this Sunday’s Gospel Reading has been bewildering to me for a long time “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:52) When I first read this passage, my reaction was the same as the people who heard what Jesus said, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (John 6:55)

It was only after hearing many homilies and going to many retreats that I come to understand what it means to us in reality. Through the Sacrament of Eucharist, are we not eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood?

I remember when preparing to receive First Communion as a child, we were told that receiving Holy Communion is like welcoming an important guest to our home. We must clean our house to welcome the guest. Therefore, before receiving Holy Communion, we must clean our hearts so that it is free from sin and worthy of Jesus’ presence in the form of the Holy Eucharist. If we can do this, the reward is abundant in Jesus’ promise “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:56)

Posted: August 16, 2015

Shiu Lan

 
Shiu Lan is your Catholic neighbour with a simple faith and likes praying the Rosary. With a B.Sc from the University of Hong Kong, she worked in Information Technology and Project Management before working with joy at home.


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