Reflections From The Bible And Life

True Meaning Of The Eucharist

Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16; Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-58

We are often reminded of the importance of Jesus’ body and blood as symbolized by the communion host and cup of wine in the Eucharistic celebration in catholic masses. Jesus said in John 6:54-56, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.”

What does Jesus mean by this? It means Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to Him shall never hunger and whoever believes in Him will never thirst. Jesus meant for us to have spiritual nourishment through Him. Whoever follows His ways shall have the promise of eternal life.

In John 6:26-27, Jesus says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” In this statement, Jesus tells us not to seek the things of this world, for they only satisfy us temporarily unlike the life that He promises us which is eternal life. With eternal life, there is nothing that we will ever need.

The Israelites at that time misunderstood the bread to be something like a physical food like manna brought down from heaven when Moses and the Israelites had no food to feed on in the desert, after liberating the Israelites from Egypt.

Jesus tells us to be more concerned about living our lives as true Christians rather than being preoccupied with our own needs. Jesus pretty much summarized the commandments into 2 major commandments:

1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

2. Love one another as Jesus loves us, just as Jesus loves us because God has commanded Him to do so.

The first commandment tells us plainly to love God. By loving God, we should live Jesus in our hearts. Our hearts will not lie, for our actions and thoughts are overflows from what comes deep in our hearts. If our hearts contain ill feelings, contempt and anger, then I could honestly say that we’re not following the first commandment. If God dwells in our hearts, selflessness, love, compassion and inner peace as well as faith in God should be evident in our thoughts actions and words.

For the second commandment, Jesus also goes on to say, “As you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” -(Matthew 25:40) The second commandment comes naturally if God dwells in our hearts, and we put our faith in Him. For when our heart is overflowing with love, it is but natural for us to love others, including the people who look down at us or are confrontational with us. When we have the grace of God, we are filled with compassion and are compelled to help people like strangers, who we might see on the streets, such as homeless persons, abandoned street children, and victims of injustice.

This is the meaning of the Eucharist. The Lord promises us eternal life only if we follow what He teaches us. I believe that as long as our hearts are for Him, the Lord will take care of our human needs.

My family has experienced many, many instances of situations involving miracles that happen at times of need. It’s like everything was planned for even if my sisters and parents didn’t plan them. Faith just found its way to God’s blessings. As long as God sees you doing your part, He will provide for you all the time. Trust me!!!

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