"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever" (Jn 6:51).
We celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ, Jesus says: "My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink."
Each Sunday we celebrate the great miracle of the holy Communion, we receive life and strength for our soul, we are living tabernacles, and we identify closely with Christ in one body and one spirit. Just as the first Christian community did in the breaking of the bread (Acts 2:42).
On the XII Sunday of ordinary time (Mt 10:26-33) Jesus says, "Do not be afraid." We are living in a world that is full of insecurities, fears, experiencing things never seen before that go beyond our values and beliefs, perhaps because we have moved away from the hand of God, or have stopped focusing our gaze on heaven.
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, because they cannot kill the soul," Jesus says. The soul belongs to God, thus we have to pray to nourish the soul. We are very concerned with our physical appearance and our daily needs, but are we concerned about our soul? St. John Paul II told the youth in Santiago, Chile, "Do not be afraid. Look at Him."
On the XIII Sunday of Ordinary Time Jesus says, "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me" (Mt 10:37). These are profound words, since our parents are the persons we love the most in this world, but Jesus stresses that we must love God above all things, and he tells us, "He who finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for me will find it." Jesus gave his life for us, but are we able to lay down our lives for Jesus? To dedicate a little more time to him? Loving him leads us to the heavenly Father.
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," Jesus says. He invites us to take refuge in him because he knows our needs and sorrows. He calls us by name and offers his hands, but many times carried only by our own world we do not realize that he is there, close to us. Jesus starts by thanking the Father for having kept things hidden from the wise but revealing them to the simple and humble. Humility is the most beautiful virtue of the Christian because God exalts the humble with his love and loves those who have a humble heart. When was the last time you talked to God about your plans and projects? When we pray we humble ourselves before God, acknowledging his greatness and love, and God is moved by the humble heart.
Let us allow that this time of his Body and Blood strengthen and renew our soul.
Roche leads the young-adult ministry at Holy Apostles Church.