Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Acts 9:1-20 + John 6:52-59
“For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink.”
Jesus, like any good teacher, responds to the ignorance of those to whom he’s speaking. The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can he give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus replies not by saying that “eating his flesh” is just a figure of speech.
Instead, Jesus replies by saying, “if you do not eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you. … For my Flesh is true food and my Blood is true drink.”
Jesus, at this point in the Gospel, does not offer this real bread and drink just yet. He does not speak in the present tense, saying, “The bread I am giving you is my flesh.” Instead, He speaks of the future: “The bread I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.”
Jesus gave His Flesh and Blood for us on the Cross on Good Friday. But He established the Sacrifice of the Mass on the night before He died. We know the truth that we must be like Christ to truly live. But we cannot imitate Christ through sheer will-power. We must be nourished by God Himself. Only when He dwells within you can you live your life as He led His: or more accurately, can He live His life in you.
At the Last Supper, with His apostles, He prepared a banquet for those who would follow Him to the Cross. We cannot separate the Eucharist and the Cross. The Eucharist is not for us and our plans. The Eucharist is to strengthen us for accomplishing God’s holy and providential Will.