Daily Gospel Reflection – Feast of Saint Mark, evangelist
Bishop Robert Barron
April 26, 2023
Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
Gospel: Jn 6:35-40
Jesus said to the crowds, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus declares that he is the bread of life and promises eternal life to all who believe in him.
Many of the Church Fathers characterized the Eucharist as food that immortalizes those who consume it. They understood that if Christ is really present in the Eucharistic elements, the one who eats and drinks the Lord’s Body and Blood becomes configured to Christ in a far more than metaphorical way. The Eucharist, they concluded, Christifies and hence eternalizes.
If the Eucharist were no more than a symbol, this kind of language would be so much nonsense. But if the doctrine of the Real Presence is true, then this literal eternalization of the recipient of Communion must be maintained.
But what does this transformation practically entail? It implies that the whole of one’s life—body, psyche, emotions, spirit—becomes ordered to the eternal dimension. The Christified person knows that his life is not finally about him but about God; the Eucharistized person understands that her treasure is to be found above and not below. Wealth, pleasure, power, honor, success, titles, degrees, even friendships and family connections are all relativized as the high adventure of life with God opens up.