One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

May 01, 2006

For Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter

John 6:30-35

We are in the middle of eight Easter weekdays during which the Church celebrates the sixth chapter of our Lord’s holy Gospel according to John.
In this chapter, we are listening to Christ make a string of claims about himself, his personal identity, his origin, his real body and his real blood.
He weaves together all his claims with graphic words insisting that unless we EAT and DRINK his flesh and his blood we will starve and die forever.
Today in his Gospel, says:
I AM the bread of life.
He who comes to me shall not hunger,
and he who believes in me shall never thirst.

For the next few days, he will enlarge this teaching.
He will end up by again saying what he says today— but with stronger words [6:53,57]:
Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood,
you have no life in you.

The living Father sent me,
and I live because of the Father;
so he who eats me will live because of me.

The teaching of Christ concerning himself, particularly here in this chapter, is an exaggeration, or the result of insanity or an outright lie … unless he is divine— unless he truly is the Incarnate Divine Son of God.
In putting before us the absolute necessity of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, the man born in Bethlehem and who died in Jerusalem is putting before us the consummation and the INCARNATION of his claim to be the Son of God born in human flesh and blood to ransom the human race from its own sins.
To reject the reality of the Body and the Blood of the Son of God in the Eucharist is ultimately to reject the Son of God himself as born in flesh and blood, dead and risen in flesh and blood.
To receive the Eucharist with faith that it is Christ’s real body and real blood is to make a flesh and blood proclamation that Jesus is the Son of God born, dead and risen in human flesh and blood.
The very Eucharist has preserved authentic Christianity and the authentic teaching of Christ in the world up to this very day, hour and minute.
The Eucharist is the real sign, real instrument and real presence of the Son of God Incarnate in real flesh and blood.
Without the Eucharistic Flesh and Blood of Christ, the Church, the Christian faith, would likely have died out at its very beginning.
That likelihood, that probability, is clear in the words of Christ later in the present chapter [6:53].
EAT my
you have

What Christ now does here at the altar has made everything possible for two thousand years.

That God Be Glorified in All


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