Today's Gospel: John 6:44-51
“I am the bread of life” (6:48).
The source and summit of our Catholic Faith.
At every Mass, we eat the bread that Jesus is talking about in today’s Gospel. It is the Eucharist, His “flesh for the life of the world” (51). In the Eucharist, He enters into our very core and grace is released into every corner of our being. He gives us His life.
And in that moment, we are together with the Lord in the most intimate way possible. He dwells, and He transforms, and we are changed forever.
What happens afterward is our response. It is our response to everyday struggles and situations. It our response through the grace given to us in the Eucharist.
For years, I have struggled with my weight. It has affected many things in my life, such as my self-confidence, energy level and mood. After my second child was born, I knew I needed motivation and accountability to lose the combined baby weight of my first two pregnancies. I joined Weight Watchers, and I counted “points” and kept track of everything I ate. It worked, and I lost the weight fairly successfully. But the valuable gift that I received by losing weight was not in reaching my goal. Rather, it was in feeling more healthy than ever before and in gaining incredible amounts of energy to keep up with my little ones.
As interconnected beings, our actions are not isolated incidents. They affect a multitude of other things. Our actions can have a positive effect or a negative one.
When I make wise food choices, it has a positive effect on my mood, my thoughts, my energy and my relationship with my children. Likewise, when I make poor food choices, the negative effects occur. My choices affect almost everything, because I am an interconnected being.
Often, my weakness is too strong, and I am reminded that I cannot rely on myself to overcome a struggle. The Eucharist plays a big part in my success, for it is through the grace of the Eucharist that I am able to fight off the temptation to eat Oreos for lunch instead of a salad. It is the grace of the Eucharist that gives us the virtue we need to fend off any of our struggles.
Jesus is life! The Eucharist is what gives us eternal life. But our actions here on earth, led by the grace of the Eucharist, affect an overall well-being that is essential. God is in the details and intricacies of life. He cares about all the little things that affect us, whether that is our weight or something else. He gives us the Eucharist so we may have eternal life, and He also gives us the Eucharist that we may have a life filled with grace, blessing and health here on earth.
What is one area in your life that is a struggle? How does it affect other parts of your life? Next time you are at Mass, give your struggle to Jesus when He is so close to you in the Eucharist. With expectant hope, how can you ask Jesus for the grace to respond differently to this struggle?
Lord Jesus, thank You for the bread of life, the Eucharist. Thank You for loving us so much that You desire us to share in eternal life with You. Lord, we pray that through the Eucharist, we may respond well to the grace You give us, that we may make good choices that affect our lives and our relationships in the most positive ways possible. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Sarah Damm