How can He give his body to eat? » Manila Bulletin News

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By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

 

An elderly lady, accompanied by a young doctor, was being prepared for a surgical operation. Visibly nervous, she blurted out, “Doctor, please be gentle with me. This is my first time to have an operation.”

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The youthful surgeon glanced at her and said, “Don’t worry, madam. This is also my first time to do an operation!” When a doctor tells you not to worry that your operation will be successful—even if it’s his first time!–and you believe him, that’s faith.

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Similarly in this Sunday gospel of CORPUS CHRISTI or Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Lord asks us to believe in the Eucharist, even though we don’t understand how his Body can become our life-giving food and his Blood our nourishing drink.

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It’s not surprising why the cynical Jews grumbled, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (Jn 6, 5). “Cannibalism,” one might say today. The Church calls it “transubstantiation,” that is, the substance of the bread and wine is turned into His Body and Blood during the Mass but the forms of bread and wine remain.

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How can Jesus give his Body and Blood as our food and drink? Humanly speaking, we don’t know. But if he could use his power to feed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread or if he could raise the dead Lazarus to life, then he could use his power to change bread into his Body to feed thousands spiritually throughout the ages.

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Ultimately, we are asked to believe, to put our trust in his words. Like Peter and the apostles who stayed on after the skeptical disciples abandoned him, we say: “Lord, to whom do we go; you have the words of eternal life and we have come to believe.”

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If only we could taste and see for ourselves the goodness of the Lord in the bread of the Eucharist, then we would experience the blessings it gives us.

This is shown in the true story of a lady named Brigitte Guerney. In 1985 while walking in a street of New York City, a construction crane fell, pinning her underneath. For six agonizing hours, paramedics frantically struggled to keep her alive until she could be removed from the heavy crane.

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During the ordeal Brigitte was  given blood transfusions, fluids and painkillers. But she asked for one specific thing and that was to receive Holy Communion. She was then taken to a hospital where doctors operated on her for another five hours. Eventually, she survived.

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The crane accident was only one of a series of previous mishaps Brigitte had suffered. At age 18 months, her son drowned accidentally. Her husband died of cancer. Her father was killed in an automobile accident. She had an operation to remove a cancer and she had suffered multiple injuries in a cable car crash in Switzerland in 1982.

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One would say this woman was born unlucky (malas) but others would call her bionic because with her unwavering faith in the “living bread,” she had survived all those misfortunes.

The example of this woman should inspire us indeed to believe in the Eucharist and draw from it the strength we need.

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Above all, let us appreciate this DIVINE GIFT by constantly receiving it in Holy Communion.

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FAMILY TV MASS — aired on IBC 13 (channel 15 cable) at 7-8 a.m. every  Sunday;  also on international GMA Pinoy HOLY FAMILY CHAPEL, Greenhills, Mandaluyong. Mass celebrant: Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD.

PRAY WITH US ON TV.

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