June 11, Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
Sunday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time
Daily Readings: 1st Reading: Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14b-16a; 2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; Gospel: John 6:51-58
How deep will it be if Jesus says louder to us, "I am the rice that gives eternal life!" We can imagine the diverse reactions that might come out; some will seek the real meaning of the sentence, others will make fun of it, some will challenge themselves to find a way to taste that rice, and so on. So, it was for the Jewish people.
An excellent connection exists between Jesus, food (Bread), and life. He was born in Bethlehem (the house of bread), laid on a manger (a utensil appropriate for food), and identified Himself as the bread (food) coming from heaven; the food gives vitality to our physical bodies. He identified himself as the way, the truth, and the life. Place things in order; his food is before life, which one receives from Jesus.
That is coherent for the physical world as well. Hence, Jesus is life for those who eat him. "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever." In this way, Jesus presents himself as the Bread of Life, the proper sustenance that will give eternal life to those who consume it. He stresses the importance of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, which represents fully embracing his teachings and sacrificing oneself for the sake of others.
This is significant for us because it foreshadows the institution of the Eucharist, where believers partake in bread and wine, symbolizing the body and blood of Christ. It is also a reminder that Christ’s teachings are not just meant to be heard and admired but to be internalized and acted upon.
The crowds struggle to understand and absorb Jesus’ words. However, he assures, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him." Furthermore, this emphasizes the supernatural nature of Christ’s teachings and the importance of faith in accepting them.
In today’s world, where consumption and material possessions are placed at a high value, this passage calls us to reflect on the proper sustenance and source of life, Jesus’ teachings, and his example. We are called not only to hear and accept these teachings but to live them out daily and share them with others.
The Gospel tells us that we are all part of the same community of believers, are the exact source of life, and must come together to support and encourage each other in our faith journeys. We must have the courage to profess our belief in Christ and follow Him, even when it may not be easy. We are reminded to trust Christ, even when His teachings may be difficult to understand or go against cultural norms.
How deep is your belief that Jesus is the bread of life? In what ways does this passage encourage us to have faith and trust in Christ, even when His teachings may be difficult to understand? What actions can we take to live out the words and this message daily?
How serious is our reception of Christ during the holy mass? Do we see Jesus in every Holy Hour in the parish, chapel, or live adoration through social media? Jesus is living through his food; do we seek to eat that food to make his presence permanent in our lives? Lastly, how grateful are we to belong to the community of believers where we are sustained and nourished spiritually in our pilgrimage toward eternal life?
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.