August 22, 2021

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

As this is a “Daily Eucharistic Reflection,” it is almost impossible not to acknowledge the context of today’s gospel reading. Jesus is in the midst of his “Bread of Life” discourse. He has just said to his listeners:

“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 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. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever” (John 6: 53-58).

If we are honest with ourselves and had we been among Jesus’ listeners, we would have likely thought as they do, “this is a hard saying.” We are indeed confronted with a profound mystery here. And while we are very grateful for the grace to believe Jesus’ words and have a deep love and appreciation for the real presence as the Catholic Church proclaims, this reading should cause us to pause. The text doesn’t say that Peter understood Jesus’ meaning or that he didn’t also find it a “hard saying.”

Instead, it simply records his response, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life.” It is an act of faith, not an acknowledgment of complete comprehension. Based upon his experience, Peter knows the way forward is in continued relationship with Jesus. He doesn’t know what that means or what that will entail. Neither do any of us, but every day we say the same. Every day we say the same, and Jesus sustains us.

Let Us Pray:

Gracious God, we thank you for the gift of the Eucharist, which daily sustains and nurtures us. May we receive the Eucharist with humility and gratitude and trust in your guidance. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
To receive the Daily Eucharistic Reflection in your email, please contact Director, CEE [cee@blessedsacrament.com]


About John Christman, SSS