August 16, 2015 – Twentieth Sunday in ordinary time
Proverbs 9:1-6; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58
What Jesus said to the people in this Sunday’s Gospel Reading has been bewildering to me for a long time “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:52) When I first read this passage, my reaction was the same as the people who heard what Jesus said, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (John 6:55)
It was only after hearing many homilies and going to many retreats that I come to understand what it means to us in reality. Through the Sacrament of Eucharist, are we not eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood?
I remember when preparing to receive First Communion as a child, we were told that receiving Holy Communion is like welcoming an important guest to our home. We must clean our house to welcome the guest. Therefore, before receiving Holy Communion, we must clean our hearts so that it is free from sin and worthy of Jesus’ presence in the form of the Holy Eucharist. If we can do this, the reward is abundant in Jesus’ promise “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise them up on the last day” (John 6:56)