ST ATHANASIUS, B. D. (Memorial) White
He was born in Alexandria, Egypt and was deeply versed in sacred writings. As a deacon, he was chosen by Alexander, his bishop to go with him to the council of Nicaea A.D. 325. There, Athanasius defended the Church against the Arian heresy which denied the Divinity of Christ. When Alexander his bishop was dying, he recommended Athanasius to be his successor as Patriarch of Alexandria. Athanasius served in that office for 46 years.
1st Reading: Acts 6:8-15; Psalm: 119. R. v. 1b; Gospel: Jn 6:22-29
JESUS, THE BREAD OF LIFE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
After the feeding of the five thousand, the crowd came looking for Jesus the following day. Jesus was disappointed that this crowd were only interested in earthly food that perishes. The reason he fed the crowd with bread wasn’t to channel their hearts to material food that is perishable. It was to make manifest that he is the true bread that can satisfy their spiritual hunger. Jesus would quench their hunger for ever if only they believed in him. But the whole of this miracle was misconstrued by the crowd. They were more concerned about their stomachs than their souls.
Jesus had to reprimand them in these words: “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life” (Jn 6:27). Although our physical good is necessary, but our spiritual good is more important. So we should be wary of being so much preoccupied with earthly needs to the detriment of our spiritual needs.
Our hunger for the Eucharistic food should be a topmost priority for us. There are some of us who are really not bothered when we don’t receive Holy Communion at mass. It appears as if Christ’s body do no longer interest us. Once we are comfortable and not physically famished, we feel we don’t have need for the Eucharist. The Eucharist is not a mere wafer. It is the Body of Christ. When we receive it, we become a part of Christ, and Christ, a part of us. It is a disaster to live without Christ in us. So, go for confession if that is the reason we don’t receive the Eucharist. Without Christ in us, we are like a walking corpse.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, increase our hunger for the Eucharistic meal. Amen.
Egbuonu Johnpaul Okey