John 6: 41-51 The 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
It’s not enough to simply say, “Jesus is the answer”. Christ is not a concept. Christianity is not a philosophy of life. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God - literally. We are talking about “real meat and potatoes”!
“The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” Let us meditate on this "Flesh" that he gives for the salvation of the world:
1. God becomes flesh and blood in the Christ Child of Bethlehem and is placed in the arms of Mary, Hismother, who nurses Him with tender love and affection.
2. St Joseph trains the young boy's body in the carpenter's shop, felling trees, lifting heavy wood and splitting logs, teaching Him the art of skilled labor - His young body becomes more defined, His heart beats faster, the muscles become stronger - he is has all the strength and energy of a young man used to physical labor.
3. As an adult, Christ's steady hands reached out to heal lepers.
4. His strong arms hold secure a playground full of children climbing upon Him wanting His blessing.
5. His voice would raise the dead to life.
6. His saliva would make the blind see.
7. His feet would walk on the waters.
8. His breath would give power to forgive sins,
9. His look would turn the raging sea calm,
10. His roar sends demons fleeing back to hell,
11. His compassionate heart multiplies bread for the hungry,
12. His gentle whisper brings back to life a little girl,
13. His tears raise Lazarus His friend from the dead,
14. His body is glimpsed on a mountaintop bursting forth in spectacular heavenly light.
15. On the cross this miraculous human body of a divine person was ripped apart on calvary.
16. And on the third day, His whole body rose from the dead and entered into eternity, more powerful than before.
This is the Flesh that saves the world. It's not made of paper, or a concept that we look at, read into and ponder upon. Nor did the Word of God become digitized and downloaded among us. Christ is a Flesh and Blood Sacrament - His substance is not the stuff of wheat or the juice of grapes. The substance is Christ himself, present in the Sacrifice of the Mass with the power to save the whole world. This Sacrament of His Body is true power.
So if we dare approach this altar to receive Holy Communion, our own body and soul, weak and vulnerable as it is, must be first prepared, not on own own terms, but through the physical training of a good moral life, the spiritual training of a discipline of regular prayer and mind that is free from the distractions of the devil. We are saved, not by emojis, hashtags, symbols or signs - not even by bread and wine - but by the very flesh of Jesus Christ, His body and blood God makes present through the Sacrament of the Holy Mass.