This Sunday, we begin a five-week consecutive read of the 6th chapter of the Gospel of John. This particular chapter is called the “Bread of Life” Discourse. It opens with one of the miracle accounts of the multiplication of loaves and fish, and will move to Jesus Christ’s profound teaching: I am the Bread of Life come down from Heaven. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will have eternal life.
John’s Gospel is the only one of the four Gospels to have this narrative. It is also the only one of the Gospels not to have the Last Supper Words of Institution – ‘Take this all of you and eat it. This is my Body. Take and drink. This is my Blood.’ John develops the Truth of the Eucharist throughout his Gospel account, rather than just in the Upper Room. It is only in John’s Gospel, we hear the “Word was with God and the Word was God… All things came to be through Him.” It is only in John’s Gospel, we have the Wedding Feast at Cana where water is turned into wine. It is only in John’s Gospel, where Jesus tells the Apostles after speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well, “I have food to eat of which you do not know… My food is to do the will of the one who sent me”. It is only in John’s Gospel, where Jesus proclaims, “I am the Bread of Life.” It is in John’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims, I am the Good Shepherd who leads the sheep out to find pasture. It is in John’s Gospel at the Last Supper, Jesus speaks of Himself as the Vine from which we the branches are nourished, sustained, and capable of bearing fruit. And again at the Last Supper, Jesus speaks of His unity with the Father and His holy desire that all His followers may be One in the Father as He is One in the Father. Finally, it is John’s Gospel, that the life giving Blood and Water flow from Jesus’ pierced side and Sacred Heart to bring forth and feed the Church.
Every 3-years, we are treated to this in depth reading of John 6 – Bread of Life Discourse. We frequently need to be confronted with this great Truth and Mystery of Jesus Truly, Really, Sacramentally Present – Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity – in the Eucharist. In a year, where the phrase, “Eucharistic Coherence” has been bantered about by bishops and laity, politicians and media, it is very good for us to prayerfully, listen, and learn again from Jesus’ own lips the Truth He proclaims: I am the Bread of Life.
I’m inviting all men 18 and older to join an endeavor to more fully embrace our masculinity as sons of God. God intentionally created you to be a man. [Indeed, God does not make accidents – Male and Female He created them. Gen 1:27.] Understanding what true Christian masculinity is, however, must be learned and gleaned from God’s revelation and attending to our human nature. It is not a masculinity for domination, condemnation, or control. Rather, true Christian masculinity is for sacrifice and service of others. Learning this in body, mind, and soul, takes effort and openness. It takes support from your wife, your children, from the parish, and Church. Exodus 90 will begin August 4 – the Feast of St John Vianney – and end on November 1 – Solemnity of All Saints. If interested, please contact me: [email protected] Our first gathering will be Friday, July 30 at 6:15a in the Day Activity Center (DAC).
Holy Family, Protected & Led by Joseph, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries