Friday of the Third Week of Easter

The end of Jesus’ teaching on the Bread of Life brings us straight to the gift of the Eucharist.  St. John does not record the words of Christ at the Last Supper, but we may suppose that this part of the teaching was given at the Last Supper.  St. John includes it as part of the discourse given in Capharnaum undoubtedly to help us connect the two events.  Jesus began teaching about a real gift of food he was to give his disciples before his passion.   Food is certainly something that “dies” in order to give life to the one who destroys it.  Christ offers Himself to be destroyed, “chewed up,” consumed by those who believe in Him, that their hearts may be resurrected into His own Living Flesh.  Eating the Eucharistic Bread with faith causes a transformation of our flesh, most especially the flesh of our heart. read more

Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

“The Father draws.”  Attraction to God is a great mystery.  Why are some drawn to Him and others not?  Why do we sometimes feel attracted to God, sometimes repulsed in general by spirituality?  Do I have any control over my attraction to God?  Does God simply not bother attracting some people?  What if God attracts my mind but not my heart?

We know that even if God somehow mysteriously does the attracting and the drawing, we have the freedom to go along with it or not.  Jesus has opened the way for us to God, butHe reveals that we wouldn’t listen to Him if the Father Himself wasn’t causing our hearts to open to what He has to say and what He does.  The love of God is so pure and holy that its seed is planted within us hidden from what we can experience with our senses.  We can either be frustrated at not being able to feel, sense, or understand our attraction to God, or we can begin to cooperate with it by believing in it.  Believing in our attraction to God actually opens our hearts to love much more deeply than if we understood or felt an attraction to God.  As St. Therese said, “I believe because I want to believe.” read more

Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter

We are familiar with Jesus’ speeches on the bread of life, but we can too quickly conclude that He is just talking about the Eucharist.  Exegetes are divided about this point, some proposing that Jesus is teaching exclusively about wisdom, others exclusively about the Eucharist, others see the first part of the discourse as about wisdom, the later part about the Eucharist.  Andre Feuillet, a well known Catholic Exegete of profound faith, espouses the “both and” position.  If we follow his intuition it should profoundly expand our contemplation of the mystery.  Christ is “the bread of life,” but also – as He says – the “living bread” and the “true bread.”  These titles don’t mean exactly the same thing.  The Word of God is the Father’s bread – that is the meaning of the “true bread.”  An image so visceral about the relationship between the Father and the Son is astonishing and is certainly more adapted to the mystery of Divine Love than to dogmatic theology. read more