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Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. April 30, 2009 - Thursday Meditation (JESUS in the Eucharist!)
April 30, 2009 - Thursday Meditation (JESUS in the Eucharist!) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009 12:47
T he principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist or Lord's Supper is an intimate union with Christ. As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens us in charity and enables us to break with disordered attachments to creatures and to be more firmly rooted in the love of Christ.
 
John 6:44-51 
 
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (45) It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. (46) Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. (47) Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. (48) I am the bread of life. (49) Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. (50) This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. (51) I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
 
 
M editation by Don Schwager:
 
God offers his people abundant life, but we can miss it. What is the bread of life which Jesus offers? It is first of all the life of God himself – life which sustains us not only now in this age but also in the age to come. The Rabbis said that the generation in the wilderness have no part in the life to come.
 
In the Book of Numbers it is recorded that the people who refused to brave the dangers of the Promised Land were condemned to wander in the wilderness until they died.
 
The Rabbis believed that the father who missed the Promised Land also missed the life to come. God sustained the Israelites in the wilderness with manna from heaven. This bread foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would offer his followers.
 
Jesus makes a claim only God can make: He is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy the deepest hunger we experience. The manna from heaven prefigured the superabundance of the unique bread of the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper which Jesus gave to his disciples on the eve of his sacrifice. The manna in the wilderness sustained the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land. It could not produce eternal life for the Israelites.
 
The bread which Jesus offers his disciples sustains us not only on our journey to the heavenly paradise, it gives us the abundant supernatural life of God which sustains us for all eternity. When we receive from the Lord’s table we unite ourselves to Jesus Christ, who makes us sharers in his body and blood and partakers of his divine life.
 
St. Ignatius of Antioch (35-107 A.D.) calls it the "one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ" (Ad Eph. 20,2). This supernatural food is healing for both body and soul and strength for our journey heavenward.
 
Jesus offers us the abundant supernatural life of heaven itself – but we can miss it or even refuse it. To refuse Jesus is to refuse eternal life, unending life with the Heavenly Father. To accept Jesus as the bread of heaven is not only life and spiritual nourishment for this world but glory in the world to come. When you approach the Table of the Lord, what do you expect to receive? Healing, pardon, comfort, and rest for your soul? The Lord has much more for us, more than we can ask or imagine. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist or Lord's Supper is an intimate union with Christ. As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens us in charity and enables us to break with disordered attachments to creatures and to be more firmly rooted in the love of Christ. Do you hunger for the "bread of life"?
 
"Lord Jesus, you are the living bread which sustains me in this life. May I always hunger for the bread which comes from heaven and find in it the nourishment and strength I need to love and serve you wholeheartedly. May I always live in the joy, peace, and unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, both now and in the age to come."
 
 
 
* Supplementary Reading

Death and Birth of a Vision
 

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. ~ John 12:24


A lmost every significant thing God births He allows to die before the vision is fulfilled in His own way. 

 
. Abraham had a vision of being the father of a great nation (birth). Sarah was barren and became too old to have children (death). God gave Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age. He became the father of a great nation (fulfillment). 

 
. Joseph had a vision that he would be a great leader and that many would bow down to him (birth). Joseph's brothers sold him to some merchants and he became a slave. Later he was falsely condemned to spend his years in prison (death). God allowed Joseph to interpret the dreams of the butler and baker and later the king, whereupon, he was made a ruler in the land (fulfillment). 

 
. Moses had a vision of leading his people out of the bondage of Egypt (birth). Pharaoh as well as his own people drove Moses out of Egypt after Moses' first attempt to relieve their bondage (death). God gave Moses signs and wonders to convince Pharaoh to free the people and bring them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land (fulfillment). 

 
. The disciples had a vision of establishing the Kingdom of God with Jesus (birth). The very ones He came to save killed Jesus, and the disciples saw Him buried in a tomb (death). God raised Jesus from the dead, and the disciples performed great miracles until the gospel had spread through all the world (fulfillment). 

 
. A grain of wheat has a "vision" of reproducing itself and many more grains of wheat (birth). The grain dies in the ground (death). A harvest springs up out of the very process of "death" in the ground (fulfillment). 

Has God given you a vision that is yet unfulfilled? If that vision is born of God, He will raise it up in His own way. Do not try to raise the vision in your own strength. Like Moses, who tried to fulfill the vision of freeing the Hebrews by killing the Egyptian, it will only fail. But wait on your heavenly Father to fulfill the vision. Then you will know that it was His vision when He fulfills it in the way only He can do.  
 
GOD BLESS US ALL!

PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.


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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 April 2009 07:17
 
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1 Thursday, 30 April 2009 09:36
THE BREAD OF LIFE

The Blessed Eucharist announced at the Synagogue of Capharnaum. Our Lord asks us for a living faith.

I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the desert and yet they died. The bread which comes down from heaven is such that he who eats it never dies (John 6:48-50). We read in today’s gospel this marvellous and astounding announcement which Jesus made in the synagogue at Capharnaum. Our Lord went on: I myself am the living bread which has come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever; and the bread which I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world (John 6:51).

Jesus reveals the great mystery of the Blessed Eucharist. His words have such realism that they exclude any other interpretation. Without faith, his words have no meaning. On the other hand, when the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is accepted by faith, then the revelation of Jesus turns out to be clear and unmistakable, and he shows us the infinite love which God has for us.

‘Adoro te devote, latens deitas, quae sub his figuris vere latitas': Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore, Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more, we say with St Thomas Aquinas in that hymn which was adopted by the Church’s Liturgy many centuries ago. it is an expression of faith and of piety that can help us express our love, because it forms a summary of the principal points of catholic doctrine on this sacred Mystery.

God head here in hiding, whom I do adore, we repeat in the intimacy of our hearts, slowly, with faith, hope and love. The people who were present on that day in the synagogue understood the proper and literal meaning of our Lord’s words. If they had understood him in a symbolic or figurative manner, they would not have been as confused and amazed as St. John shows them to have been on hearing what Jesus said. And these words would not have been the occasion of many of them leaving Our Lord on that day. This is a harsh saying and who can bear it? (John 6:60) they said as they went away. It is a harsh saying, and continues to be so, for those who are not well-disposed, for those who do not admit without the shadow of a doubt that Jesus of Nazareth, God, who became man, communicates out of love in this way with men. I adore you, hidden God head, we say to Him in our prayer, expressing our love, our gratitude and the humble assent with which we receive him. This attitude is essential if we are to approach this mystery of Love.

‘Tibi se cor mewn totum subiicit, quia te contemplans totum deficit’: See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart, Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art. We feel the need of repeating this many times to Our Lord, because the number of unbelievers is great. He also asks us, and all who want to follow him very closely, Do you also want to go away? (cf John 6:67). And on seeing the lack of direction, the confusion of so many Christians whose souls are asleep to the supernatural life, our love has to re-affirm itself. Tibi se cor meum totwn subiicit... Our faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist has to be firm: We believe that as the bread and wine consecrated by Christ at the Last Supper were converted into his Body and his Blood, which were immediately offered for us on the Cross, thus also the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are converted into the Body and Blood of Christ, sitting gloriously in heaven; and we believe that the mysterious presence of Our Lord, under the appearance of those elements, which continue appearing to our senses in the same fashion as before, is a true, real and substantial presence (Paul VI, The Creed of the People of God, 24).

With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at www.totusbookstore.com ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

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