by Rev. Fr. Mammen Mathew, Houston, Texas
Eighth Sunday After the PentecostGospel Reading : St. John 6:47-59 Jesus is the Bread of our Spiritual Life He gave his spiritual body in the form of physical bread and gave His life giving blood in the form of wine. God the Father gave the Israelites Manna during their journey to the Promised Land in the desert to nourish their physical body. Manna was perishable, but it was the foreshadow of the non-perishable food of God from Heaven to come. This food of Jesus is for everlasting life. When we receive Jesusí body and blood, our perishable body gets everlasting life and resurrection. Our body becomes His. His everlasting blood flows through our spiritual veins. This heavenly body came to us through St. Mary. The Holy Spirit made visible the invisible God, the second person in the Trinity, to us as a human being. The Word became flesh so that we can see, hear, feel, and believe. The Father sent His only begotten Son to this world to save the world, and show us the path to the Father. Like a farmer Gabriel sowed Godís seed in the womb of St. Mary, Mary received that seed like a good ground of earth. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary brought the Son to the world. The Son took all the sins of the world on Himself, and sacrificed His body to the Father as atonement for us. He broke his body and shed his blood for the world to receive as life giving food. He wanted us to partake that food as often as possible. He instituted the Holy Eucharist on the day of Passover and wanted us to continue to celebrate that feast till His second coming. He wanted us to participate in that feast whenever we gather to worship or have fellowship. During our heavenly pilgrimage, He wanted us to refresh and refill from his body and blood as often as possible. His body and blood nourishes our weary body, mind and soul. It refreshes us and strengthens us. It gives us peace, comfort and joy. It takes away our fear, worries, sorrow and tears. It gives new direction and hope in our journey. Partaking His body and blood removes our emptiness and unworthiness. It equips us with Godís strength, grace, and protection. All these benefits we will only receive if we truly believe in His words and accept them as He meant. When we come to Him in His holy sanctuary with humility, brokenness, and repentance, and faithfully receive the Holy Eucharist as His true Body and Blood, we will benefit all those things that are mentioned above. Jesus wants us to be partakers of His body and blood, not as on-lookers. Those who participate in consuming them with very good preparation and full faith will get everlasting life as He had promised. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us receive Him with full faith, with utmost preparation, and partake in the Heavenly feast every time, when we participate in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus is inviting everyone on this planet earth to join in His heavenly banquet. Let us join Him every Sunday and on all festive occasions to eat and drink from His table for everlasting life.
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