Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14-16; Psalm 147:12-15,19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-58
The Body and Blood of Christ
Not by bread alone does man live. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
Imagine entering a restaurant where the owner promises: “Our food will give you so much vitality that you’ll never go hungry again. Not only that, you’ll never weaken, get sick, or even die!” Wouldn’t you think that the owner was either a con artist or deranged? Yet in a spiritual sense, this is the claim that Jesus made when he said that he was “the bread that came down from heaven. … Whoever eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:58).
“This bread” that Jesus is talking about is the life that he offers to us every time we celebrate the Eucharist. He is the food that makes us immortal, the drink that quenches our thirst forever. Sound impossible? Not for anyone who believes that “all things are possible for God” (Mark 10:27)!
Have you ever noticed how much of an emphasis Jesus placed on his promise that those who ate of him in faith will live forever: “I will raise him on the last day” (John 6:54)? Imagine: We will have a glorified body that will radiate the very holiness and power of our God!
This promise of the Second Coming pervades the celebration of the Mass. The Nicene Creed, for instance, states that Jesus will “come again in glory.” In the Sanctus, we proclaim: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Even the Memorial Acclamation is emphatic: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” This short prayer, in fact, sums up the entire gospel message—and one-third of that prayer is the Second Coming!
At every Mass, we are reminded that Jesus will return. The exact hour is hidden in God’s design, yet we can be certain that he will come again as the King of Love. For this, we should always give praise!
“Lord Jesus, we await your coming. You will come in power, yet in tenderness. May we prepare for your coming by our faith, hope, and love.” ~wau