The Eucharist, the mystery of life
Readings: 1st: Acts 9:1-20; Ps: 117; Gos: John 6:52-59
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, Friday of the third week of Easter, the church celebrates the memorial of Saint Joseph the worker, the patron saint, and model of workers.
So, today is international workers day. It is a day set aside to honor all those who through the special gifts they received from God, work very hard to sustain the family, and human society.
Today, we are reminded that, “there is dignity in labor”; and that, “laborare est orare” (to work is also to pray). It is also, a day to take seriously, the advice of Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12 and to pray for all those who do not have work.
Today, as we continue our reflection on the discourse on the bread of life, we see that it is taking a very tense dimension.
The declaration of Jesus that, “the bread that I will give you, is my flesh,” has provoked many questions among the Jews. What does he mean by giving us his own flesh? Are we cannibals that eat human flesh? How is he going to do it?
Consequently, it also provoked a very strong animosity and hatred for Christ among the Jewish authorities. He has insulted us. He has violated our religion. He has blasphemed against God. As John will tell us soon, it also provoked a very serious question among them. What do we do with this man?
However, at this moment, Jesus has come to the climax of his discourse. He now speaks of the great mystery of the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, he gives us himself as spiritual food and drink. This is the real meaning of the multiplication of the loaves.
The abundance, and power that the Eucharist gives, is a sign of something wonderful. So, let us ask God at every Eucharistic celebration, for the grace to enter deeper into this great mystery of our faith, in a spirit of wonder and gratitude.
Saint Joseph the worker, pray for us! Alleluia, Alleluia!
Peace be with you all!