by Father Antonio Rivero
Texts: Deuteronomy 8:2-3.14-16; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-59
Father Antonio Rivero, L.C., is a Doctor in Spiritual Theology, Professor in the Legion of Christ’s Noviciate in Monterrey, Mexico, and Assistant of the Logos Priestly Center in Mexico and Central America, for the formation of diocesan priests.
Main Idea: Christ is the living Bread, taste of eternal life.
Summary of the Message: During his pilgrimage on earth, man is a radical being and spiritually hungry (First Reading). And, in the Eucharist, God came to satisfy that human and spiritual interior hunger (Gospel). On eating the Eucharist, not only do we feed our soul but we form one Body with Christ (Second Reading), as Saint Augustine so often said.
Points of the Main Idea
In the first place, we have to travel many miles on this earth before we reach eternity. We must carry enough provisions in our knapsack, if not, we will faint irremediably on the way. If there is something that must not be lacking, it’s the Bread of the Eucharist, without which we would not have the strength to go on and sing, and we would die of hunger. During our journey we are seduced by many restaurants we see on our right and on our left, which tempt us and offer us a succulent menu that satisfies our stomach and senses, but does not satiate our hunger and thirst for eternity and Heaven.
In the second place, knowing our radical hunger, God prepares a banquet for our soul with the Body and Blood of His Son. This Bread is remedy of immortality, as Saint Ignatius of Antioch said, that is, it’s the Bread which guarantees resurrection to us, including our body. However, in this day of Corpus Christi, this Bread is to be eaten not only in the banquet of the Mass, but also to be contemplated, adored and acclaimed. That is why we process through the streets of villages and cities with that consecrated Bread that is Christ in the Monstrance. We see Him, contemplate Him, adore Him and sing joyfully to Him. It is Christ’s presence offered to encourage us in our sadness, and also so that we become fresh bread for our brothers with our charity; bread that is broken, distributed and shared, so that our brothers can have life and no one may die of hunger.
Finally, in the Sequence composed by Saint Thomas Aquinas, we sing today: “the good and the evil eat “ this Bread,” with different profit: life for some <and> death for others.” To eat this Bread with dignity and respect, our soul must be clean <and> our heart prepared. We cannot throw this Bread of the Angels to the dogs of our disordered passions. It is for the children that come to the banquet with their best suit of grace and friendship with God in their soul. For Saint Augustine of Hippo, the ultimate end of the Eucharist is Christians’ union with Christ and among themselves. It is what Saint Paul says to us in today’s Second Reading: “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” The Eucharist is the privileged means to build the Church. Therefore, we can say with Saint Augustine that the Eucharist is “Sacrament of mercy, sign of unity, bond of charity.” In his Encyclical on the Eucharist, Saint John Paul II said that the Church lives of the Eucharist. This means that, without the Eucharist, the Church would be a museum of inert, dead things, and we, walking cadavers.
To reflect: Am I hungry for the Bread of eternal life, or is my stomach given to worldly delicacies? Do I notice that the Eucharist transforms me in Jesus and makes me think, feel and love as Christ? Do I go to Communion in a state of friendship with the Lord? Do I give myself time to contemplate and adore Christ-Eucharist in the Church once a week?
Thank You, Lord, because in the Last Supper You divided the bread and wine into infinite pieces to satiate our hunger and thirst.
Thank You, Lord, because in the bread and wine you give us Your life and fill us with Your presence.
Thank You, Lord because You loved us to the end, to the extreme that one can love: to die for another, to give one’s life for another.
Thank You, Lord, because You willed to celebrate Your surrender around a table with Your friends, to that they would be a community of love.
Thank You, Lord, because in the Eucharist You make us ONE with You, You unite us to Your Life, in the measure that we are willing to surrender ours . . .
Thank You, Lord, because the whole day can be a preparation to celebrate and share the Eucharist . . .
Thank You, Lord, because I can begin again every day . . . and continue my journey of fraternity with my brothers, and my journey of transformation in You . . .
For any doubt, question or suggestion, write to Father Antonio Rivero at: firstname.lastname@example.org