JN 6: 24-35




Filipinos are fond of imitation. They are cheap, affordable and come close to the real thing. In Baguio where they have the famous ube jam from the “Good Shepherd,” there is also one called “Like the Good Shepherd.” McDonald’s fries had a competitor in Mang Donald’s fries. In one location where there was a 7-11 store, across was a store called 8-12.


The Jews ate the bread Jesus multiplied and they remembered the bread or mannatheir ancestors ate in the desert. Coming to Jesus, they thought he gave them the same bread and will still give them the same. Jesus explains that in fact, he is preparing for them something totally different and entirely new.


That bread in the desert was inauthentic bread, a mere imitation of what was to come, and a temporary relief for the grumbling stomach. The True Bread gives life unending, comes from God in heaven, and referred not to baked dough, but to him personally.


To receive this Bread is to receive life eternal. To receive this Bread is to encounter the God who came down to earth. To receive this Bread is to find the nourishment of body and soul.


This Bread is the Eucharist. As Catholics we believe that it is not ordinary Bread that we receive but Christ who said: “I am the Bread of Life.” There is a mystery involved in Communion because what we receive is the Father’s gift from heaven, the gift of the Son’s very life. To receive Communion is to stand in the holy presence of the Lord. It is a powerful moment of encounter with the God who is in heaven and yet, in mystery, is here with us as food for today, tomorrow and always… until we reach eternal life.


Have you ever received Communion just out of habit or custom? Do you always come prepared to stand in the Lord’s presence and encounter him with eager and joyful heart?


 “Give me, O Lord, the grace to know that when I celebrate the Mass, you invite me to your Presence and so I must be totally absorbed and focused on worshipping you. May I treasure the Eucharist as the moment of encounter that changes my life and makes me more humble and loving in relating with others. Amen.”