Many of the disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
As a result, many disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. (John 6: 60-66)
What were the words Jesus spoke that turned away these disciples? “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will live forever.”
How seriously do we take these words every time we receive Jesus’ Body and Blood?
Most of us received our First Holy Communion as children. Can you remember the studying, anticipation, waiting, longing to receive Jesus? And finally the day arrived. We were filled with joy, excitement and a heart bursting with love because we possessed not only Jesus, but his promise of eternal life.
Now many years later, do we still experience the anticipation and the longing? Do we remember the promise of eternal life before we receive Jesus’ sacred Body and Blood? Or, like the disciples who turned away, do we find the words of eternal life a hard saying and receive Jesus’ sacred Body and Blood thoughtlessly, routinely? Is it just an automatic action that is part of the Mass?
Jesus gave his body and shed his Blood and made a covenant with us, and at every Mass the bread and the wine truly become the Body and Blood of Jesus.
May we never forget or take for granted that Jesus’ Body and Blood sustains, delights, surprises, impels and is shared among us for all eternity.
We accept your hard words and thank you, Jesus, for your eternal, life-giving sacrifice.
Mary A. Stasiak
ASC Associate Coordinator
Eastern Area Associates