Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
"I am the Bread of Life."
(cf. Jn 6:35)
May 7-13, 2018
Enlarge the space of your tent for the Verbum Dei Spirituality
To discover the generous love of God in our daily life as one experience it being in contact with this love in the Eucharist
Objective of the week:
To discover the Eucharist as food that nourishes our daily life.
Truly, this piece of bread offered to us in the Eucharist by Jesus, who is sent from the Father straight from heaven is not an ordinary bread—as it is Jesus himself. It is his desire to be close to us as his friends and share with us his life that He is opening our eyes to see the real food we need in our day-to-day life. Not just Jesus is moving close to us, he also invites us to move closer to him and to believe that he is the bread of life that can satisfy our hunger and thirst.
The truth is, Jesus is leading us to our joy and happiness, and that is, discovering the will of God for our life. Jesus is committed and faithful to help us and be with us in the Eucharistic love of which he offers his own self to be the food to be eaten and be part of our flesh to give us the nourishment we need to withstand from any challenges and temptations to succeed in doing God’s will to the very end.
I will come into their house and eat with them
Look, I stand at the door and knock, if you hear my call and open the door, I will come into you and have supper with you, and you with me. I will let the victor seat with me on my throne just as I was victorious and took my place with the Father on his throne.
Jesus doesn’t just wait for us to come to him, instead he comes to us always, wanting to talk with us and hear our story of the day on the relaxing meal of the day, and the most significant meal was when Jesus ate with his Apostles before he suffers--the supper. Jesus with the same enthusiasm when he last dined with his apostles, is pleading us to dine with him and to open up ourselves to be friends with him and enjoy his presence daily. Jesus is so excited to dine with us, how excited are we to dine with Him?
I am the true bread from heaven to eat
Then the Jews asked him, what shall we do? What are the works that God wants us to do? And Jesus answered them, “The work God wants is this: that you believe in the One whom God has sent” They then said, “Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe you. What sign do you perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as scripture says: They were given bread from heaven to eat. Jesus then said to them, “Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My father gives you the true bread from heaven”. The bread God give is the one who comes from heaven and gives life to the world. And they said to him, “Give us this bread always”.
Our Father in heaven desires so much for us to be nourished of what we really need each day. He sent down manna from heaven during the time of Moses to feed their hungry stomach to sustain them for the journey to the promise land. In our time, our Father sent us Jesus to nourish our spirits and to feed our hearts with the right nutrition that we are longing for, such as peace, joy, love, contentment in the Lord. Be vigilant of what food the world offers. It may seem to give what exactly our Father offers, but it does not. Are we choosing the right food we need? Is Jesus our choice or we choose the many junk foods the world offers?
I am the Bread of Life
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty. Nevertheless, as I said, you refuse to believe, even when you have seen. Yet, all that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me, I shall not turn away. For I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of the One who sent me. And the will of him who sent me is that I lose nothing of what he has given me, but instead that I raise it up on the last day. This is the will of the Father, that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall live with eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day”.
Jesus affirms that he is the bread of life sent by our Father, that whoever comes to him and believe in him shall never be hungry nor be thirsty. What we need or want in life is found in Jesus. Jesus often tells us in the Scriptures, “ if you are with me and I in you, ask anything you want from the Father in my name and it shall be given unto you.”(Jn.14:13) It’s absolute, the Father will give in Jesus’ name. The best thing that Jesus can give and the best thing that we can ask from the Father through him is the growth in our divine life, the eternal life that Jesus is bringing to each one of us. Do we believe in Jesus as the only bread of life that brings us to eternal life? Do we recognize growth in our divine life with him?
Can you drink this cup?
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached him with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.”Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking.* Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.”He replied, “My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left [, this] is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers.But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt.But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus is so happy in seeing us following his footsteps, trying our best to love as he did, enduring with the many challenges in life in the very real world that we are living now. One more thing that Jesus would want us to understand--which is the bottom-line of receiving and eating this spiritual food, the Eucharist--is to recognize the very will of God for our life. Doing God’s will is the best communion we can have with our Father.This is the very thing Jesus did since the beginning of his birth - doing the Father’s will, whatever it takes. Are we eager to know the will of God for our life or are we afraid to discover it?
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I live in them
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.” The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum .
Jesus conquered all--even death, in doing the will of the Father. He knew how challenging it was, yet he finished it perfectly well in union with the Father. Jesus is so concerned with us in doing God’s will for our life that he wants to help us do it. It is beautiful that he offers His body,broken for us and His blood to take to be in union with us. If we grow in body and stature in eating the food our body needs, how much more we believe in this bread where Jesus is present, giving us the strength we need in doing God’s will. To whom do we ask help to do the will of our Father for our life? Do we draw strength from Jesus?
Get up and eat or else the trip will be too much for you
1 Kings 19: 4-8
Elijah walked a whole day into the wilderness. He stopped and sat down in the shade of a tree and wished he would die. “It's too much, Lord,” he prayed. “Take away my life; I might as well be dead!”
5 He lay down under the tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said, “Wake up and eat.” 6 He looked around and saw a loaf of bread and a jar of water near his head. He ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 The Lord's angel returned and woke him up a second time, saying, “Get up and eat, or the trip will be too much for you.” 8 Elijah got up, ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to walk forty days to Sinai, the holy mountain.
Jesus is ever faithful in helping us to do God’s will. No doubt with that. The question is how faithful are we on our part? Jesus is inviting us to take him daily in the Eucharist just as we take our meal three times a day or even more. Jesus is not forcing us to take him, but it’s the best invitation He can offer in this life. It’s the primary source of our strength in doing God’s will to the very end. No pressure, Jesus is telling us, as you like. Taking him in the Eucharist, in a similar way with our prayer should not be heavy in our end nor an act of obligation rather as an act of Love and way of life. How often do you want to be nourished by Jesus and have it a part of your life?
7th Sunday of Easter
The Ascension of the Lord
First Reading: ACTS 1:15-17, 20A, 20C-26
Psalm: PS 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
Second Reading: 1 JN 4:11-16
Gospel: Jn 17:11B-19