Saturday, August 15, 2015

Being hungry is what matters

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
August 16, 2015

John 6:51-58

John the Evangelist uses very strong language to stress the need to nourish communion with Jesus Christ. Only then will we experience his own life in ourselves. According to him, it is necessary to eat Jesus: "He who eats me, will live because of me."

The words take on an even more aggressive character when he says you have to eat the flesh of Jesus and drink his blood. The text is unequivocal. "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."

This language no longer produces any impact among Christians. Accustomed to hearing it since childhood, we tend to think about what we have done since first communion. We all know the doctrine learned in catechism: at the moment of communion, Christ is present in us by the grace of the sacrament of the Eucharist.

Unfortunately, many times it all may remain piously digested and  accepted doctrine. But often, we lack the experience of incorporating Christ into our actual lives. We don't know how to be open to him for him to nourish our life with his Spirit and go on making it more humane and gospel-centered.

Eating Christ is much more than distractedly coming forward to fulfill the sacramental rite of receiving the consecrated bread. Communion with Christ requires an act of faith and openness of special intensity that can be experienced above all at the moment of sacramental communion, but also in other experiences of vital contact with Jesus.

What matters is being hungry for Jesus. Seeking from the deepest part of ourselves to meet him. Being open to his truth so that he marks us with His Spirit and strengthens what is best in us. Letting him shed light on and transform areas of our lives that have yet to be evangelized.

So nourishing ourselves with Jesus is going back to what is most genuine, simplest and most authentic in his Gospel, internalizing his most basic essential attitudes, igniting in ourselves the instinct to live like him, awakening our consciences as disciples and followers to make him the center of our lives. Without Christians who are nourished by Jesus, the Church languishes irredeemably.

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