Mission Society of the Philippines

Homilies

20th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME: CHRIST'S FLESH AND BLOOD ARE TRUE FOOD AND DRINK

Jn 6: 51-58


ONE OF THE products of globalization is the proliferation of ‘foreign’ or international restaurants. Today, Asian, American, and European restaurants are everywhere. This presence of various restaurants gives us a chance to taste different international cuisines. With these many choices, we can find a food that really suits our taste. Then, we patronize the restaurants which offer food we consider best.

The discourse on the Bread of Life continues and in this particular gospel passage, we are reminded by Jesus that, in terms of satisfaction for our hunger, we may find it in His flesh and blood. Let us try to go over once again the words that He uttered in this passage.

Firstly, Jesus says about the genuineness of His body and blood. He says, “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” This statement goes beyond the human aspiration for food. When we look for satisfaction, we search for the “best food” and “best drink.” But often what we consider best is short-lived. We are easily fed up with food when it is frequently and regularly taken, and thus later, we begin a new search for “better” or “best” food and drink. The words of Jesus show that His is the answer to our search for complete satisfaction. Jesus does not only present His flesh and blood as “the best”, but it is also “the true” food and drink. It is true because it gives us complete satisfaction. Once we have been filled by it, we no longer long for a new one; we stop the search because we have already found Him.

Secondly, let us listen to his exhortation. On the one hand, He gives us a warning: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you;” on the other hand, He gives us an assurance: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will have eternal life.

How shall we understand His words?

Eating his flesh and drinking his blood may mean our participation in the holy Eucharistic celebration. It can be observed that some Catholics, who come for the holy Eucharist, have no such awareness how important it is to receive the body and blood of Christ during the ‘communion’. For them, to receive or not, it does not matter. But let us take seriously the words of Jesus in the consecration: “Take this all of you and EAT it….” “Take this all of you and DRINK from it.” I remember that in some Eucharistic celebrations, the choir or the congregation would even sing ‘O come let us adore Him…” during the moment of consecration. And indeed, some people are simply there to adore the Lord in the Eucharist. But that is not what Jesus meant. The simple adoration does not do justice to His instruction. We are not there in order to simply watch, gaze, or adore Him. But we are called to EAT and to DRINK his body and blood during the eucharistic celebration.

Furthermore, the eating and drinking of Christ’s flesh and blood may also mean “accepting Him in faith.” If we believe in his Person, that is, His “flesh and blood,” then we can attain eternal life. We experience the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist through his body and blood. Christ is present in the Eucharist so that we can be united with Him. This union with Christ in faith suggests life in eternity. Therefore, our communion with Christ is not only confined to the one-hour celebration of the holy Mass. Our union with Christ should remain even after the holy Mass. We bring it with us outside the Church. If we cling to Christ in faith, certainly, we will have life in Him.

Such are the beautiful words of Jesus: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” If we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior in faith, we will certainly remain in Him. AMEN.


« Back to Homilies Index

  Contact Us

MSP CENTRAL OFFICE
 3791 Cuenca St.
 Palanan
1235 MAKATI CITY

or MCPO Box 1006
    1200 MAKATI CITY

PHONE: (632) 551-6983
FAX: (632) 831-9937
E-mail: secgen@msp.org.ph