In today’s Gospel we hear part of what is commonly referred to as Jesus’ Bread of Life discourse. The imagery Jesus presents is powerful and His words form the foundation of our Eucharistic theology.
He compares Himself to the manna the Israelites ate in the desert. He differentiates Himself from the manna by saying that even though the manna was nourishing, those who ate it still died. Those who eat of His flesh, however, will not die. Just before this declaration He says, “Amen, amen I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life”.
Reading this, I felt, was a pretty good indication that participation in the Eucharistic feast is really, really important. Christ gives Himself to us in the Eucharist as a way of drawing us close to Him and thereby drawing us to His Father. It is important for us to recognize the sacrifice that is present in every Mass.
As I’m walking up the center aisle for communion, especially on Sundays, I often find myself distracted. My eyes are not fixed on our Lord in the Eucharist, but rather they are searching the pews for friends or cute babies. My heart is not contemplating His great sacrifice, but rather I am thinking about where to go for breakfast or whether or not my outfit is “churchy” enough.
What if, as I walked up that center aisle toward our Lord Jesus Christ, I fixed my eyes and heart on the depth of the Eucharistic mystery. How much stronger would my faith be? Christ’s words are very clear “…the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world”. Throughout the remainder of Easter, my mediation as I approach the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is going to be “Lord, allow me to recognize Your sacrifice as I receive you”.
May you continue to have a blessed Easter season and may the joy of the Resurrection continue to live in your hearts.
Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO and teaches English Language Development and Spanish to high schoolers. She is married to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com.
Feature Image Credit: elvisfotos, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/15005-consagracion-pan