FATHER SAM’S MESSAGE
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For the next few weeks, we will meditate on the Gospel of John, chapter 6. I encourage you to read this powerful chapter in your own private prayer at home, as well. In this beautiful chapter, Jesus speaks about the Bread of Life, his Body and Blood, and prepares us for the gift of the Eucharist.
The Gospel of John includes this discourse on the Eucharist relatively early in the Gospel. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, on the other hand, place almost all references to the Eucharist in the Last Supper accounts. Why does John differ? It helps to know that Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written within a few years of each other, albeit to unique audiences and communities. John’s Gospel, on the other hand, was likely written a few decades later. This means that the people who would hear and read John’s account were already very familiar with the story of the Gospel and knew about the life of Jesus. This is one reason that John’s Gospel is more reflective, full of philosophical ideas and theological insight. The Gospel of John dives into some of the mysteries contained in the stories recounted by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
And so this sixth chapter of John is a meditation on the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. We will be reminded that, if we desire eternal life, we must eat this true Bread from Heaven. We will hear Jesus tell us that his flesh is true food, his blood is true drink. We will remember, as these words are proclaimed, that Jesus stays with us, truly present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist. What we receive at Holy Communion is no mere symbol. Rather, it is Jesus Christ Himself!
St. Pius X was known as the Pope of the Eucharist, both because of his encouragement of frequent reception of Communion, as well as his efforts to enhance the Church’s liturgy. When we gather to celebrate the Eucharist, we do so under his patronage. May the intercession of St. Pius X accompany us as we meditate on John 6, and help us to understand more perfectly the gift, the mystery, the sacrament of the Eucharist.