First Reading: Acts 9:1-20; Psalm: 117. R. v. Mk 16:15; Gospel: Jn 6:52-59
JESUS THE GIVER OF ETERNAL LIFE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
One of the greatest privileges and honour we received from God was God’s choice to mingle with us; mere mortals that we are. As if this wasn’t enough, God upgraded this union into a relationship. God did this through his Son Jesus Christ whom he sent to save us. Jesus came to us because the Father sent him and he lives because the Father lives. This co-existence between the Father and the Son is eternal. This is the life that Jesus intends to also share with those who believe in him. If Christ lives because the Father lives, then those who receive Christ would live because Christ lives.
Invariably, this means that we share in the life of God which Jesus offers us as a gift from his Father. Life originated from the Father through Jesus Christ his Son. And still through Christ, God intends to restore life in all he had created since we lost it due to sin. This was the reason Jesus came down from heaven that we might have life. And there is no other life he can offer us except the life he shares with the Father. And for us to share in this life, we have to share in the life of Christ. And to share in the life of Christ, we have to eat his body and blood. This was precisely the teaching of Jesus in today’s gospel.
Jesus said: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him.” Christ is not that earthly bread that sustains life. He is the heavenly bread that gives life because he came down from heaven and co-exists with the Father the giver of all life. So, all who receive him will share in his life that never ends. Christ is present to us in the Eucharist. He lives in those who receive him. And just as he returned back to the Father; so will all who receive him worthily return back to him on the last day. The Eucharist indeed is a divine food that gives life.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Bread of heaven, nourish our souls with the food of life and make us become what we eat so as to be united with you in heaven. Amen.