When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you now" - Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
(Gospel Text: Jn 6:1-15)
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
What makes the Catholic faith truly unique?
For one minute please think about this. At every single Mass we witness a miracle happening right before our very eyes; a miracle we are called to partake in. We have the opportunity to receive the presence of the King of the Universe physically inside of us, infused in our bodies! How can we as Catholics ever respond to such an incredible phenomenon?
This gospel should cause us to ask ourselves: Do we truly believe in Christ’s presence in the Eucharist? If so, how are we behaving when we are around him? Do we remember to genuflect and show the utmost respect every time we walk into a Church? Is Jesus the first person we greet when we get settled or do we chit chat with those around us before addressing Jesus? Do we prepare ourselves to receive Christ ahead of time through prayer and confession? Imagine going to see Jesus like going to see a really important person; take for example, the pope. We wouldn’t ignore the pope and talk to others around us before addressing him. Why do we do that with Jesus? Finally, after we receive him, do our lives reflect his presence inside of us outside of Mass? Do we reflect, not only on the fact that we are made in the image and likeness of God but that we also have God within us?
For those of you who read this, I realize I may be preaching to the choir here. But I know I cannot honestly give a complete yes to each of these questions. I constantly fail at these things. Our calling, especially in this Easter season, is to remember that Jesus gave up his life for us. We can honor, respect, and receive him on a regular basis through the Eucharist. As Catholics we believe that there is nothing more important or powerful on the face of this earth than the Eucharist. Let this Easter season be a time for us to truly express that belief through words and actions both in and outside of Mass.