May 2, 2020

Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Though this statement from Simon Peter comes near the beginning of John’s Gospel, it reflects well the life of the early church. The first reading speaks of the peaceful growth of the church, and its spread throughout the whole of Israel. Peter’s answer to the plaintive question by Jesus as to whether his disciples would also leave him after he stated that if those who ate his body and drank his blood would live forever.

It is precisely in celebrating the Eucharist, eating and drinking at Christ’s table, that the early church was sustained and nourished. Yet, it remains even today a reality that many are unable to accept. In the gospel story, Jesus had miraculously fed the crowd with bread and fish. He then taught them most of the next day to not be seeking after earthly food, but spiritual food. The life to come is far more important than this life.

Jesus did not change his message when it was not well received. He speaks in order to reveal the truth and not simply to please. Peter’s response is beautiful. Even without understanding everything, Peter accepts Jesus as messiah and believes in him. In the name of the group he professes faith in Jesus’ word. Jesus is himself the word and the only bread which satisfies. We today continue to be fed at the table of Christ’s word and of his body and blood. There the nourishment paid for by his life, death, and resurrection is offered to us day after day. Are we truly appreciative of this great gift?

How in prayer today can I deepen my grasp of this gift of Jesus?

Let Us Pray:

O loving Jesus, help me never to be among those who walk away because we are unsatisfied with what you ask of us.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015.