Jesus said to the crowds: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws 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.” (John 6: 44-51)
Introductory Prayer: Lord I praise you for your goodness. You have given me life and grace. What can compare to the greatness of your love?
Petition: Lord, lead me to a greater understanding of your love for me in the Eucharist.
1. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”
How easy it is for us to take our faith for granted! Many of us are cradle Catholics, born into a certain religious tradition. That can make it easy to see our faith more as a family inheritance than a gift from God. Yet Jesus clearly affirms that no one can come to him unless the Father draw him. To make a true act of supernatural faith, God is working in our soul. When we say to Jesus, as Thomas did, “My Lord and my God,” grace is definitely at work. We should constantly thank God for the gift of our faith.
2. “Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God”
Through faith, this wonderful gift of God, Jesus is leading us into the very heart of the ultimate mystery, the divine life of the Triune God. At the Last Supper Jesus will say to Philip, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus’ human face reveals the invisible mystery of the Father. God is love (1 Jn 4:16). We are invited into this mystery of eternal, mutual love of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. To speak of the Godhead is, I know, like trying to cross the ocean on a raft or trying to fly to the stars on a little bird’s wings (St. Gregory Nazianzen).
3. “Your ancestors ate 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.”
This faith constantly needs nourishment. The Israelites during their desert sojourn ate manna. It provided physical nourishment, but our spiritual lives need an infinitely greater bread. Jesus provides it in the Eucharist. Let us go to him frequently and allow him to feed our famished and weary souls.
Dialogue with Christ: Lord, I thank you for the great gift of my faith, and thank you for nourishing it with the Eucharist. Help me to never grow cold or indifferent before the great mystery of your love.