Quite naturally, we don’t want to admit that this might be too hard. On the surface, it looks pretty easy. We want to accept Jesus’ word and receive the bread of life. We want to believe in the Eucharist. We want to believe in its awesome, saving power to transform us. We want to believe that Jesus is really present in it. We want to believe that it is the bread of life.
But for many of us (and those around us), we are like the people in the Gospels….we murmur, we mutter under our breath, we quarrel among ourselves that this saying is too hard…because our culture, our society, our friends, our family tell us to take the easy route….to think it’s a symbol or a sign of Christ’s presence. But the truth is…we have been blessed with the Bread of Life…the real presence of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist…not a sign or a symbol…..so we are sent forth to make Christ’s presence real to others. As Christ the Bread of Life has given us Himself to make us His own…to be food for the journey of our lives, we are sent forth to feed the hungry people we meet on our respective journeys. At the end of every Mass, the priest or deacon tells us, “The Mass is ended. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” So the Eucharist never simply ends, like a play, movie or sporting event ends. No, instead we are all sent forth….sent forth with a mission…to be the bread of life for others.
So this week, take a moment to stop the murmuring, muttering and quarrelling that this saying is too hard and ask Christ instead for a deeper appreciation of the Eucharist. Pray for the grace to make His presence real to others. Share the knowledge that the Eucharist is a gift, and in this life, there is no greater gift that we could ever receive.
Deborah (No R.E.-Gretz) Gretzinger