Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood, remains in me and I in him, says the Lord.

I want to share two things with you this morning. The first is the Response Psalm from today’s readings.

R.    (12) How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
How shall I make a return to the LORD
    for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
    and I will call upon the name of the LORD
R.    How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
My vows to the LORD I will pay
    in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
    is the death of his faithful ones.
R.    How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
O LORD, I am your servant;
    I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
    you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
    and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R.    How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?

This may be my favorite Psalm…Psalm 116 and it’s meaning ties directly into the next thought I want to share with you this morning – John’s Gospel narrative we’ve been reading the past number of days. Jesus Christ has offered me His life – how can I thank Him enough for that? Jesus Christ died on the Cross for my sins – how is it I repay Him for that blessed gift? I will take up His Cup of Salvation. I will be His servant. I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving; I will always call upon the name of the Lord. I must die to my way of life and live in Christ’s way – the way of love and mercy.

I believe this ties directly into what Jesus taught us and what we as Catholics have upheld since He celebrated the “last supper” with his Apostles. It is the source, center and summit of our Catholic faith – that He is the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has never been nor ever will be merely symbolic – it is truly sharing and receiving THE BREAD OF LIFE…

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” 
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you. 
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
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 
This is the bread that came down from heaven. 
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.” 
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

For my Flesh is true food,
and my Blood is true drink. 
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
remains in me and I in him
.

Where in all of this narrative does Jesus back down from saying He is True Bread and True Drink? He was questioned to clarify it more than once in John’s narrative…He is challenged to clarify again in this morning’s Gospel…

Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, “Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.”
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer walked with him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer walked with him.

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”

Do something great for our Lord today – if you have left; come back. If you have doubts; believe. Follow the Apostles and contemplate Peter’s declaration to Christ… “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

I firmly resolve, with the Help of Thy Grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God, chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.

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