Let Him In!

June 18, 2017
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
The Gospel Today
John 6:51-58

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

REFLECTION (SEM. JUSTIN G. GATUS)

There were times during our Clinical Pastoral Education, whenever we minister to patients, and listen to their stories, I felt moved and in the verge of crying especially when I can relate with their stories. There was one time when I ministered to a patient whose family was very supportive of him. Even though the patient, a father, was grumpy and a bit hard-headed, they still love and care deeply for him. They selflessly love him and they were doing everything in order for him to be cured of his sickness. I realized that whenever I don’t put myself in the shoes of others, I can’t feel compassion. Yes, I can sympathize but there is no real compassion. Unless I let the stories of others become part of me, I won’t be able to understand and feel what it means to be in their shoes.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus explains to us that unless we eat of the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, we will not have life within us. As I reflect on this verse, I came to realize that like what I’ve experienced in our Clinical Pastoral Education, if I won’t put myself in the shoes of others, and not let their stories permeate my mind, my heart, and my soul, there will be no connection made and in return, I won’t be able to understand and feel their stories. Jesus, the Bread of Life, feeds me through the Scriptures. Unless I open my heart, mind, and soul to the message of God through the Holy Scriptures, I won’t be able to become part of Him and Him in me. Simply put, He cannot enter unless I let Him in. The invitation of the Gospel is to always let the Living Bread through the Word of God permeate our lives in order for us to become part of Him and to replicate in our lives His holiness and goodness.

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