Jesus, the Bread of Life

Sunday Gospel Reflection
Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 11, 2023 | John 6:51-58

Jesus, the Bread of Life
Josie Gonzales

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven…my flesh is the real food; my blood is the real drink…Those who eat this bread will live forever.” (John 6:51, 55, 58)

My devotional reading this morning featured “Hope in Sorrow”. It talked about HOPE that triumphs over sorrow and struggle. And the reading went on by challenging me with this question: “Guess where it is found?” Further down it read, “One place…really, one Person: Jesus.”

This is profound and tells us all about the core of our being—yes, Jesus, sent by the Father to save us from eternal damnation.

What is the relevance of this to this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus, the Bread of Life? Indeed, because Jesus is our life.

This Sunday is Corpus Christi Sunday which literally means Body of Christ. The substance of bread and wine at Consecration during Mass becomes the Body of Christ. And our desire to be united with our Christ happens when we receive Him at Holy Communion.

Ang tanong…ilan sa atin ang nagsisimba? Or are we still hearing Mass on TV and on other platforms? Gumising tayo sa katotohanan na bukas ng muli ang mga Simbahan…tanggapin natin si Hesus sa Eukaristiya dahil mahal Niya tayo. Mahal ba natin si Kristo? Pagnilayan natin ito.

Jesus is the Bread of Life. He said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If you eat this bread, you will live forever. The bread that I will give you is my flesh, which I give so that the world may live.” Truly, a divine invitation calling us to live with Him, to enjoy life with Him, to share in His glory and magnificence, to rest in Him, to be at peace with Him, to forget all the cares as the birds in the sky and the lilies in the field. Never mind tomorrow for as Jesus said, “tomorrow will take care of itself”.

Itong paanyaya ni Hesus ay para sa ating lahat. Repeatedly, He calls us to follow Him, to take the road less traveled, to unburden ourselves of baggage that wear us down. It is not the bread on the table alone, masarap man ang palaman, that gives strength and sustenance to us. It is the Living Bread, the Living God, our Savior that sustains us mind, body, and soul. A call to live that eternal life..a promise to us that in His kingdom are many mansions …a beautiful dream to live with the Almighty forever in that heavenly place He has prepared for us.

Let’s turn to him this moment, right now. He is calling us. Let’s open our hearts and our minds and listen as we reach out to hold His hand. Sabay-sabay tayong manalig sa Kanya at tanggapin ang paanyayang walang kapalit. Tayo na…

I always end my reflection with a story to tell––stories of my tears and joys, successes and failures, of blessings and challenges and stories of acts of mercy, of givingness, of gratitude, of love and kindness, hoping that readers may pick up some points to ponder upon. The Lord’s hand was always at work in my life. I’ve felt His presence and in many instances, I was aware that the Bread of Life was guiding me and leading me to the right direction.

Yes, when we persevere in prayer, when we ask Jesus to speak to us, when we dialogue with Him and listen in the quiet of our homes, away from all the noise of the world, we hear that tiny voice telling us to keep going. He walks with us all the way!

Have I touched the lives of family, of friends, of neighbors, of co-workers, of “Jesus” in the homeless, in the marketplace…“Jesus” in the prison cell, in the sick…“Jesus” scavenging in the garbage dump?

How far deep are we in our mission to serve the Lord? But, first, is the Lord present in our lives? Do we hear Mass in church now that the COVID pandemic is over? Wala ng lockdowns, wala ng quarantines at bukas na lahat ng simbahan para pasalamatan ang Diyos at tanggapin Siya sa Eukaristiya. O nasa online Mass pa ba tayo? Pagnilayan natin ito.

Right now, mine is a mix of going to church and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist and hearing Mass online, where at best, we only benefit from Spiritual Communion and miss the Sacrament of Holy Communion. As I reflect in silence, in deep thought, I ask myself how far or close am I to my God—the Source of all goodness—when I am remiss in worshiping Jesus where He is most visible. But the Lord is a forgiving God and I ask His pardon and forgiveness for this sin of omission. Kailangan natin ang Katawan at Dugo ni Kristo…ngayon at habang-buhay.

A blessed Sunday as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

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