Daily Readings Reflection for 4/23/10

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Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: April 23, Lectionary # 277. Acts 9:1-20. Psalm 117:1.2. John
6:52-59.

We are nearing the end of Jesus’ great discourse on the Bread of Life. He
has identified himself through the expression EGO EIMI which is the
equivalent for God’s ineffable name I Am Who Am given to Moses from the
burning bush. We hear the climactic statement that will drive many of
those who were amored by his signs of healing and the multiplication of
the loaves, but who cannot receive his personal revelation of how he would
abide with them if they only believed in him and his words as a Person sent
from God. He tells us, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and
drink his blood, you have no life in you.” The verbs used are quite strong
and emphasize the reality of his revelation. In Hebrew thought or Aramaic
(the language of Jesus) “flesh and blood” is an idiom for the whole person.
One commentator says, “sacramental communion is a personal communion
(encounter) with Jesus who shares his life and the life of the Father with
us (verse 53). He continues with his interpretation, “There are two themes
that cannot be separated: faith and the eucharist. Both are unified in the
person of Jesus who offers a living relationship through faith and
sacrament.” For John eucharistic faith is to believe that the same risen,
Incarnate Jesus continues to give himself to believers in a personal
communion and to exercise his life-given mission.” (James McPolin, S.J. New
Testament Message: John, p. 107).

Fr. Raymond Brown, S.S., left us a wonderful compendium of biblical
knowledge in his An Introduction to the New Testament. As is his wont, he
succinctly interprets the final two parts of the discourse we have head
this past week : “The themes of 6:35-51a are duplicated but now in language
evocative of the eucharist. Indeed 6:51b, “The bread that I will give is my
own flesh for the life of the world,” might well be the Johannine eucharist
formula comparable to “This is my gody which is (given) for you” of Luke
22:19; I Cor 11:24. Taken as a whole the two parts of the discourse in John
6 would revealt that Jesus feeds his followers both through his revelation
and his eucharistic flesh and blood. In response some of Jesus’ disiciples
murmur about this teaching (6:60-61) even as did “the Jews” (6:41-43,52).”

We were given this gift of believing in Jesus through the sacrament of
Baptism and we were confirmed into a mature commitment and decision to keep
that trust and faith in Jesus alive and growing. Jesus gives us his pledge
to remain and abide with us through all of our daily

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