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insisting on great faith
“Thereupon Jesus said to them: ‘Let Me solemnly assure you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.’ ” —John 6:53
Jesus promised He would give us His flesh to eat (Jn 6:51). This is very difficult to understand and even offensive, especially to Jews. Therefore, “the Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can He give us His flesh to eat?’ ” (Jn 6:52) At this point, Jesus did not modify or explain His statement. Rather, He repeated it four times (Jn 6:53, 54, 55, 56). In the Greek, the writer of John’s Gospel changed the word for “eat” to a word which can be translated “chew” (Jn 6:53). In effect, Jesus insisted we are receiving His Body and Blood in Holy Communion.
This is not contradictory to reason. For example, a baby in the womb feeds on his mother’s flesh and blood. Similarly, Jesus has given us His Body and Blood to sustain our life in Him. However, the baby does not need to believe in his mother. But, although we see only what appears to be bread and wine, Jesus insists that we must believe that He is really present as the Eucharist. St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that believing in the Eucharist is the most challenging act of faith. Jesus does not want us to walk by little faith or by no faith (see 2 Cor 5:7). He challenges and graces us to live by great faith, especially in His gift of Himself as the Eucharist.
Prayer: Father, may I believe so deeply in the Eucharist that I will die for Jesus.
Promise: “When [Ananias] entered the house he laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Saul, my brother, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus Who appeared to you on the way here, to help you recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized.” —Acts 9:17-18
Praise: George spends time before and after each Mass in Eucharistic adoration.
Rescript: "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from April 1, 2022 through May 31, 2022. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, August 3, 2021
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.