As I returned to my office this past Monday I picked up a bulletin to “catch up” on the happenings at St. Francis Xavier and wow! there are definitely things happening!
Preparation for Franny Fest is in full swing; donations arriving daily, chairpersons preparing booths, volunteer sign-up sheets filling quickly and Vacation Bible School in the midst of all the activity, welcoming our youngest members. These are signs of a living and vibrant parish. I feel blessed to be on staff and look forward to another great year.
As I read the bulletin and my column from last week, I wondered what I was thinking when I began the second paragraph, it didn’t make sense: “Our hunger too, is nourished by becoming one with Jesus in the Eucharist.” What I discovered was that an entire paragraph that was to precede that one was omitted – my mistake, not Aggie’s!! And because the Gospel of John continues this week with the discourse on Jesus as the Bread of Life: here is that paragraph:
Often times when we speak of a “longing” within us it is an invitation to refocus in our lives. What am I really longing for? What am I searching for? Longing can also be thought of as a hunger for something and in John’s Gospel this week Jesus recognizes that the people are hungry again for the bread they were fed. Remember, the people Jesus is speaking to is the same crowd of people that were fed by the fishes and the loaves and Jesus reminds them that He is that bread that came down from heaven. In other words, He is what they are longing for, that they might be one with God.
Isn’t it interesting that so much is written about the teaching of Jesus as the bread of life? I believe it is because Jesus knew that the people were not quite “getting it;” that He, himself was that bread and that He was what the people hungered for. Many of these people knew him as the carpenter’s son and child of Mary, so how could he possibly profess that he was bread? It took time and repeated teaching by Jesus for the people to begin to accept this reality and by it accept Jesus as the One who could lead them to eternal life with God. Today, upon hearing this discourse proclaimed, we must ask ourselves: Do we get it? Do we truly believe in the Bread of Life that we receive in the Eucharist? Or do we doubt what Jesus is teaching? Though we may not fully understand this mystery, it is central to our faith. In his own words Jesus teaches: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven: and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
Let us take time this week to reflect on the beauty of this gift that feeds us, that satisfies our hunger to be one with God. As you receive the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist be mindful of your salvation and grateful for the presence of God within you!
Have a blessed week.
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC