April 23, 2015
Thursday, 3rd Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 8:26–40
Gospel: Jn 6:44–51
Jesus said to the crowds, “No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise him up on the last day. It has been written in the Prophets: They shall all be taught by God. So whoever listens and learns from the Father comes to me. “For no one has seen the Father except the One who comes from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
“I am the bread of life. Though your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, they died. But here you have the bread which comes from heaven so that you may eat of it and not die. “I am the living bread which has come from heaven; whoever eats of this bread will live forever. The bread I shall give is my flesh and I will give it for the life of the world.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
We work so hard for food to survive, yet we are told that it can sustain only temporal life. Food, they say, is necessary but not hereafter. Beyond death when we shall cross life’s border, we shall all be nourished by that beatific vision of the Father. “Eat and drink today, and drown your sorrow; you shall perhaps not do it tomorrow. Best while you have it, use your breath; there is no drinking after death” (Adapted from John Fletcher, et al in “The Bloody Brother”). But is food really necessary in this lifetime only? Well, it really depends on one’s mentality.
If by food we refer to what the mouth can taste, and when eaten comes out of the body as waste, then we can safely affirm the proposition even in haste. But if by food we refer to the soul’s nourishment, such food is necessary to mankind even after interment. Consider the sacraments, for example. They strengthen our will power when devils cajole. The grace derived from these sacraments keep our souls healthy, assuring the person that through heaven’s gates he will gain entry.
According to Ludwig Feuerbach, “Der Mann ist was er isst”. “Man,” he wrote, “is what he eats”. From all appearances this statement is an exaggeration. Yet this is not without basis, we can validate this without need for scholarly investigation. Eat pork and become as pigs-a-sleeping; eat sea foods and become as fish-a-swimming. Here is one classic example: eat “camote” but keep your distance from other people. At the spiritual level Feuerbach’s statement is no exaggeration. We should become what we eat at every Holy Communion. We ought to be more loving, thoughtful and forgiving after every Eucharistic celebration.
In heaven this ideal is brought to perfection as we become part of the dream of the One and Triune. This dream Jesus revealed when he prayed: “That they may be one as we are one” (John 17:6-19). So let us strive to make every Holy Communion a real event of transformation as we become Christ’s representation. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, nourish us with the Bread of Life and make us bearers of your love as we strive to give life to others. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. George, the Protector of England, was a Christian Knight from Cappadocia. In Sylene, Libya, tradition says, the king’s daughter had to be offered as a human sacrifice to the frightening dragon. When the young girl had gone forth to meet her doom, St. George killed the dragon with his lance and set the girl free. The king of the city offered him a bountiful treasure. When he had the treasure given to the poor instead, the people were impressed and embraced the Christian Faith. In 303, a cruel persecution began against the Christians. Datianus, the Roman officer, had George beaten with clubs, tortured with red-hot irons, and finally beheaded.