Daily Gospel Reflection – Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Bishop Robert Barron
Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Gospel: Jn 6:53-60
Jesus said to the crowds: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: /They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.”
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus declares that "unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you."
The talk that Jesus gave concerning the sacrament of his Body and Blood was quite literally revolting. It is a rather remarkable understatement when John writes, "The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?’"
So what does Jesus do when confronted with this objection? One would think that he would offer a metaphorical or symbolic interpretation of his words. Instead, he intensifies what he had said.
How do we appropriate this shocking talk? We honor these unnerving words of Jesus, resisting all attempts to explain them away. We affirm the doctrine of "Real Presence." Vatican II re-expressed the traditional Catholic belief when it taught that, though Jesus is present to us in any number of ways—in the proclamation of the Gospel, in the gathering of two or three in his name, in the poor and suffering—he is nevertheless present in a qualitatively different way in the Eucharist.