Contemplating today's Gospel

Liturgical day: Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter

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Gospel text (Jn 6,35-40): Jesus said to the crowds, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Comment: Fr. Gavan JENNINGS (Dublín, Ireland)

«Whoever comes to me will never hunger»

Today we see how much our hunger and our thirst concern God! How can we continue to think that God is indifferent to our sufferings? And yet, so often, we “refuse to believe” in the tender love that God has for each one of us. In hiding himself in the Eucharist, God manifests the incredible lengths He will go to in order to satiate our thirst and our hunger.

But what thirst and hunger are these? Ultimately it is the hunger and thirst for “eternal life”. Physical hunger and thirst is only a pale reflection of a deep desire each man has for a divine life that only Christ can give us. «This is the will of the Father, that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall live with eternal life» (Jn 6,39). And what must we do to obtain this eternal life we so desire? Some heroic, superhuman feat? No, it is something much simpler for Jesus says: «Whoever comes to me, I shall not turn away» (Jn 6,37). We simply have to turn up – to come to Him.

These words of Christ spur us to come to him daily in Mass. This is the easiest thing in the world: simply to turn up at Mass, pray and then receive his Body. Once we do this, we not only possess this new life, but we radiate it to others. During a Corpus Christi homily, Pope Francis, the then Cardinal Bergoglio, said: «How beautiful it is, after receiving Holy Communion, to think of our lives as a prolonged Mass in which we bring the fruit of the presence of the Lord to the world of families, to the housing estates, to our study and work; thus we will also come to think of our life as a daily preparation for the Eucharist, in which the Lord takes everything that is ours and offers it once again to the Father».

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