A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, August 20, 2006


In today's Gospel (John 6:51-58), we hear more of the Bread of Life discourse.

Many recognize that our Lord is speaking very much of what we know as the Eucharist.

It has been frequently pointed out that, unlike the other Gospels, the Gospel of John does not have a narrative of the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, but rather has this extensive discourse on the Bread of Life - the meaning of which would be quickly understood by the early Church, which celebrated this from the very beginning (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29).

For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.

But what our Lord speaks of is more than just Communion alone - although it is that. It is not just the Body of Christ for its own sake (as wonderful and miraculous as that is): it is His Flesh "for the life of the world" - His Body "which shall be given up for you." It is abiding in Christ and not only that: it is making his singular sacrificial death present here and now. Nor it just a remembrance of the past made present in the future: it is, as Aquinas said, a "pledge of future glory."

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.

For some of us, Holy Communion can feel like just a ritual or our relationship with Christ is just this warm but inert feeling that we keep tucked away in our consciousness somewhere.

The opportunity for all of us is to realize in greater and greater measure each week and each day that it is so much more.

"O sacrum convivium,
in quo Christus sumitur:
recolitur memoria passionis eius;
mens impletur gratia
et futurae gloriae
nobis pignus datur."

"O sacred banquet,
in which Christ is received,
the memory of His Passion is renewed,
the mind is filled with grace,
and a pledge of future glory
given to us."