Friday of 2nd Week of Easter A

The Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist

Last few days, we have learned the Sacrament of Baptism. Today, Saint John begins to teach us the Sacrament that completes the Sacraments of Christian Initiation, the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist. What is the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist? Why do we need to receive it?

“At the Last Supper,” the Church teaches, “on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us’” (CCC 1323). Each time, we participate in the Mass is each time we participate in the Eucharistic sacrifice of Jesus’ Body and Blood. The bread and the wine, after the prayer of consecration, they are no longer bread and wine but Body and Blood of Christ. Just as Jesus entrusted to his disciples to do it in a memorial of his death and resurrection, the Church continues this mission everyday of our life. The Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist is a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us’ (Sacrosanctum Concilium, Sacred Liturgy, 47).

This love demonstrates in all four Gospels, but this love demonstrates slightly different from the Gospel of John to the Synoptic Gospels. In today’s Gospel, John describes that Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee, the land of the Gentile, and many people followed him. They followed him because “they saw the signs he was performing on the sick,” Saint John continues. In Synoptic Gospels, Jesus’ disciples reminded him that people were hungry and thirsty, but in John’s Gospel, Jesus saw their hunger and thirst. In Synoptic Gospels, Jesus told his disciples to distribute the bread and the fish to people, but in the Gospel of John, “Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.” He distributed them himself. The most importance of all, John saw in this miracle as a sign of pointing out that Jesus himself was the bread that brought eternal life.

Food and drink are often satisfied the hunger and the thirst, have you and I ever been hungry and thirsty for Christ? What would you do during this social distancing due to the pandemic of coronavirus that we cannot receive the Holy Eucharist? Beautiful and intelligent words might satisfy our minds and delight our thoughts, but have they filled our hunger and thirst for Christ? Prayers, pieties and holy writings can water our minds and souls, but can they satisfy our hunger and thirst for Christ? Have you ever been filled with the Holy Eucharist?

 

Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen


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