REFLECTION FOR TODAY
August 8, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
The Jews murmured about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring* among yourselves” Jn. 6:41-43
When Jesus told the Jews He is the bread that came down from heaven, they murmured saying we know all about him. They were so familiar with Jesus that they fail to recognize who He really is. So, Jesus was the object of gossip, ridicule, belittlement among the Jews.
In our gospel reference of today, Jesus was giving one of His most glorious and profound teachings. His teaching on the Most Holy Eucharist, the Gift of His Body and Blood as the Bread of Life. He said, “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.” And upon hearing this teaching, they murmured about Him.
Murmuring about Jesus’ teaching on the Eucharist does not necessarily have to be only something we say out loud. We “murmur” about Jesus interiorly when we fail to understand, accept, and enter this glorious gift. Murmuring is the same as lacking a complete conviction and embrace of this gift. Perhaps we do not murmur externally with our words, but we may find we murmur interiorly in the sense that we lack interest in this Precious Gift.
As Catholics, have you lost the taste of Jesus in the Eucharist? The Eucharist is the greatest gift the Church received from Christ. It is a life-giving bread that sustains her children who are on pilgrimage to Eternal Jerusalem. It may not have enough taste to please the tongue. Its taste lies in the soul. However, the more the worthy soul, the more it feels the taste and satisfaction of the Eucharist.
It is obvious that the Eucharist no longer appeals to many Catholics and so they murmur. The truth is that when the soul is enshrouded by sin, it loses the taste for Jesus. Here the Eucharist no longer functions as a food that nourishes the soul but as a mark of death.
The Eucharist though is meant for every communicant, but it is only for communicants in the state of grace. This state of grace is attained through the Sacramental confession and constant desirous Communion with the Lord.
Therefore, to those who have lost touch with the Lord, He has not lost touch with them. He is ever ready to renew the contract of love that He has sealed through his redemptive death if they desire to savor him again who is ever tasteful and satisfactory.
Reflect, today, upon whether your heart is fully engaged with the Holy Eucharist. When you think about going to Mass, are you overwhelmed with joy and a deep spiritual longing? Or do you look at it as an obligation you need to fulfill? If it is more of an obligation you need to fulfill, then you may have more of an interior “murmuring” than you realize.
Lord, help me to see You in the Holy Mass. Help me to long for You in the Most Holy Eucharist. May I never lack proper faith and devotion. May I always be filled with a deep love for You, present in this Sacred Gift! Jesus, I trust in You.