Christ challenges and consoles us

June 22, 2014. (John: 6, 51-58). Today the church celebrates Corpus Christi. This day we remember that Christ is the real nourishment for our spirit. Today’s gospel is based on the teachings of Jesus to the people. The whole discourse is marked by the metaphor of the Bread of Life that comes from the Lord. The text shows how the Jews had difficulties hearing Jesus’ words. The total discourse of Jesus is based on readings of the Old Testament where the living bread that came down from heaven and satiates the people and humanity is spoken of. When Jesus says to us, "whoever eats from this bread will live forever" he reminds us that he is the sacramental food, he reminds us that he will be with us always present in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the sun and the center of our faith; through the Eucharist we share life. When we are fed with the Eucharist, we get a commitment to serve others. All of us Christians are called to participate in the life of Christ, through the Eucharist we are one with him and the others.

June 29, 2014. (Matthew: 16, 13-19). In this day’s gospel Christ wants to hear the opinions about him. Who do the people say I am? This is the question that Christ asks his disciples after having taught them everything about him. To this question the disciples gave many responses of what the people said about him. Jesus asks them, and you, who do you say that I am? To this Peter responds you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. This same question that Jesus asks his disciples, he asks us also. We can’t understand the mystery of Christ if we don’t have faith. For this reason, when faith is not the oxygen of our life, we will not be able to recognize Christ as our Messiah. That is why Christ says to Peter, "Blessed are you, Peter, since no human has revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven."

July 6, 2014. (Matthew: 11, 25-30). "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." These are the most comforting words for those who are weary and burdened. Christ is set as the greatest example of humility and invites us to learn from him. When we live in Christ, we find rest in our lives. Christ fills us with peace and happiness in the midst of the difficulties we have every day, but his presence and his company are enough to go forth. He is our peace and our consolation.

July 13, 2014. (Matthew: 13, 1-23). In this day’s Gospel Jesus speaks to the people in parables and tells a special one about "the sower." Some seeds fell by the wayside, some on rocky ground and among the prickly shrubs. None of the seeds was successful. But there were other seeds that fell on good soil and bore fruit. These seeds represent the Word of God. Many times we hear the Word and we don’t understand it and since we don’t persevere we lose what we had gained, this is what the seeds that fell by the wayside represent. The seeds that fell on rocky ground represent those who hear the Word and accept it, but through their inconstancy it does not grow roots and what they had gained is lost. The seeds that fall among the thorns represent those who hear the Word, but the worries of life choke it off and they lose what they had gained. The seeds falling on good soil represent those who hear and understand the Word and bear fruit. It is up to us how consistent we are in listening to the message God has for us.

Sánchez Durán is a seminarian for the Diocese of Rochester.

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