Old Testament: 1 Kgs 19:4-8
Epistle: Eph 4:30-5:2
Gospel: Jn 6:41-51
The primary message of these readings is the spiritual fullness that Jesus provides through our “daily bread”, the Eucharist, which is completely and truly his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
But every priest this weekend will be preaching about the True Presence (as they should be), so I want to focus on the Epistle reading. Here, the author shows us not only how we should receive the Eucharist, but what the effect of the Eucharist should be as we “go out into the world.”
We are called to be sacrificial imitators, devoid of all anger, and forgiving as Christ has forgave us. To forgive in such a way means to forgive all transgressions against us, not just the minor ones.
This is not humanly possible. As fallen persons of body and soul, we cannot, of our own power forgive so much, love so much, and sacrifice so much as is asked of us. It is impossible.
But do not despair, for we have the Eucharist, the living bread of Christ, our meal of Thanksgiving that sustains us for the journey. The Eucharist is a sacrament (the Sacrament most holy), and as such it “efficaciously” gives us tangible and fruitful graces–forgiveness of sin, sensitivity to the Church and it’s poor, strengthening against temptation, communion with Christ, and an increase in Charity.
It is no coincidence that the very graces the Eucharist gives are the very qualities we must live by according to Ephesians.
Receive the Eucharist at least weekly. Receive it more frequently if you can. In taking Eucharist we become more like Christ, for he dwells within us. In becoming more Christ like, we more easily accept the requirements for a life of Holiness–a life which will one day hopefully find us in the presence of Christ in Heaven.