Celebrating the Mass

John 6: 52-59
Acts 9:1-20 / Ps 117

This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memorial of me.
(Luke 22:19)

Nothing nourishes more than Jesus,
And as precious as His Word be fed.
In Scriptures we receive His Good News,
In the Eucharist our daily bread.

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.” He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. (John 6:52-59)

Reflection

It was a shock to His disciples to hear Jesus speaking like this: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remain in me and I in him” (Jn.6:54-56).

It was impossible for them to understand His words at that time because Jesus was actually making a prophecy about the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. He would only institute this later at the last supper, when He said, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memorial of me” (Lk.22:19).

The word memorial for the Hebrews was seen in a different light as we understand it today. It did not mean something that occurred only in the memory that brought recollections of a past event. Rather, memorial signified making present once again a past event. The Eucharist is a meal celebrated in memorial of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. In our participation at that meal, those events become present to us as we relive them over and over again. We celebrate the Holy Mass because it commemorates the great love of our Redeemer for us, and He draws all of us to Him in the Eucharist.

Today our Brotherhood celebrates its 30th National Anniversary, and brothers and sisters from all over the land have come to Davao to rejoice in our vision to win the marketplace for Christ! We only memorialize the founding of our Brotherhood once a year, but the two-day event is certainly full of joy and laughter. In the same way should we celebrate the Mass, where we relive the culmination of God’s salvation plan for mankind.

As the Eucharist is celebrated every hour and everyday all over the world without losing its essence and significance, so also the Word of God which we read and hear every day, throughout our lives, delivering God’s message to us in many different ways.

We praise you, Lord God eternal. Your Flesh and Blood and Your Word will nourish us all the days of our lives, until the end of time. Amen.

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