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Eucharist should be greatest experience of our lives

Based on Jos 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b; Eph 5:21-32; Jn 6:60-69

Believers and quitters! This Sunday’s readings tell us Joshua, Paul and Jesus called their listeners to make a choice – return to their old ways or respond to divine revelation and to the gift of faith Jesus offered.

In the Gospel, many disciples following Jesus say, “This is too hard to believe.” They leave Jesus and no longer follow him. He doesn’t stop them. Jesus is the Lord of life, but he will not force people to believe in him and to follow him. Real, true discipleship must be a free choice.

Jesus turns to the Twelve Apostles and asks, “Do you also want to leave?” Jesus cares deeply about them; he personally chose them to be his closest companions. 

Peter, making a beautiful act of faith, says, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God” Actually, what Peter is saying, “Master, I don’t fully get what you just said but I do know who you are.”

Jesus asks us the same question, “Do you also want to leave?” Jesus is asking for a personal friendship with him – belief in him and surrendering to him. From the time of the apostles, today, and to the end of time this is the Christian life.

Jesus, the Son of God, the Bread of Life, came down to earth, died on the cross, rose from the dead and gives us eternal life through the Eucharist.

At every Eucharistic celebration, the Body and Blood of Christ are lifted up just as Jesus was lifted onto the cross. The words of consecration by the priest and the elevation repeat what Jesus did at the Last Supper when he instituted the Eucharist.

If we truly believe that in the Eucharist we experience a close friendship with Jesus, we should be flocking to get to Mass as often as possible – not as something we have to do but as the greatest experience of our lives.

Receiving Jesus in Communion, we are nourished, strengthened and changed to grow in our faith, to become more Christlike and to bring Christ’s love to others.

Lord Jesus, come and deepen our faith and love for you, the Bread of Life!