The WORD in Other Words by Fr Edgar Bugtong SVD (Taiwan)
Friday in the 3rd Week of Easter
“Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” is controversial in a way especially to non-Christians. Who eats a man’s flesh or drink another man’s blood? Somebody who is foreign to the Christian faith may simply answer, “a cannibal.”
Every time we gather for the Holy Eucharist, we celebrate the mystery of the body and blood of Christ; we eat His sacred body and drink His sacred blood. It’s quite difficult to explain fully how this is possible because understanding it entails some level of faith. Hebrew 11:1 defines faith as “confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see.” In other words, faith enables us to see what the eyes cannot see.
And so, it will be easier to understand if we start to reflect on why the Son of God has to become an ordinary man like us. It’s because of God’s unconditional love to humanity. God sent His Son into the world to give us back the life lost in sin. Through Jesus, we are redeemed from sin. This redemption is brought about through Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection on the cross. He offered His life for us.
Although we do not see the “flesh” and “blood” of Jesus in that small host we receive during communion, our Christian faith teaches us that indeed we are receiving His real body. He sustains that grace of salvation gained on the cross through His body and blood offered in the Holy Eucharist. Let us, therefore, gratefully nourish our souls with the food Jesus is giving us – His own body and blood. Amen.
Source – The Word in Other Words, Bible Diary 2020