Friday, August 31, 2012

Listening to Christ's word Helps us Recognize Him

Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

This Church is seldom filled to capacity but for 3 days this week, it was filled with people not really because of some religious event but because it became an evacuation site for flood victims. We had as much as 1,300 people but today, we are back to the usual little group. I just realized that it is easier to dispose relief goods than to distribute Holy Communion. I personally buy the hosts for the parish and I have been buying the same volume as when I was in Sikatuna. In my former parish, the supply of hosts has to be replenished every 2 weeks. But here, the replenishment of supply takes place every 1 and a half months. It only shows that very few receive Holy Communion here. If I distributed relief goods at every Mass, perhaps the supply has to be replenished every day. Remember the words of Jesus last Sunday: “You look for me not because you have seen signs but because you have eaten and were filled. Do not work for food that does not last. Rather, work for food that lasts unto eternal life.”

Why is it that most people do not appreciate Holy Communion? I think it is because most of us have not really listened to God. In the Holy Gospel, Jesus says: “They shall all be taught by God. Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.” “No one can come to me unless the Father draw him and I will raise him on the last day.” A person will not approach Holy Communion not unless he believes that what is being given is Christ’s flesh for the life of the world. But faith can be elicited only as a response to Divine Revelation. No one comes to Jesus without first listening to the Father and learning from him. And no one can have eternal life unless he believes in Jesus. Listening to the word of God enables us to recognize the Lord Jesus who is truly present in the most holy Sacrament of the altar. “In the account of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, Christ himself intervenes to show, ‘beginning with Moses and all the prophets’, how ‘all the Scriptures’ point to the mystery of his person (cf. Lk 24:27). His words make the hearts of the disciples ‘burn’ within them, drawing them out of the darkness of sorrow and despair, and awakening in them a desire to remain with him: ‘Stay with us, Lord’ (cf. v. 29).” (John Paul II, Mane Nobiscum Domine, 12.)  “It is significant that the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, duly prepared by our Lord's words, recognized him at table through the simple gesture of the ‘breaking of bread’. When minds are enlightened and hearts are enkindled, signs begin to ‘speak’. The Eucharist unfolds in a dynamic context of signs containing a rich and luminous message. Through these signs the mystery in some way opens up before the eyes of the believer.” (MND, 14.)

As the disciples of Emmaus were duly prepared by our Lord’s words to recognize Christ at the breaking of bread, so must we truly listen to God’s word so that we may also recognize the flesh of Jesus which is given to us at Holy Communion. Only by approaching the Lord can we have eternal life. “Whoever eats this bread will live for ever.”

Jesus, I trust in you. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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