Corpus Christi Sunday: The Bread of Life

 

New Challenges. The transition from university to work life is not an easy one, as I often meet with challenges and obstacles. These have left me finding new ways in working round these challenges, but the amount of time and expectations needed to be fulfilled often left me truly tired at the end of the week. Rather, I just need to endure till the contract is up before deciding on more future plans, maybe even vacation plans.

The gospel begins by saying,Jesus said to the Jewish crowds: “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.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 

For 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. Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever (John 6:51-58).”

When I was younger and still in catechism class, I had a difficult time comprehending the meaning of the Holy Eucharist. Growing up, I begin to look at it containing the visage of Jesus where we are constantly reminded that in all our triumphs and tribulations, He is the only one Who can give us true salvation, the promise of eternal life.

So this begins my earnestness to find life everyday in Jesus, to trust Him in times of uncertainty and worries, and to count on Him so as not to falter in times of great stress. Jesus promises us the gift of eternal life by staying faithful and holding onto the cross. We will reap our rewards on the last day.

To describe the true joy and experience of the Holy Eucharist, there is a story about Blessed Imelda Lambertini of Bologna. God called her to the religious life at the age of nine years old and she entered the Dominican convent at such a young age.

That spring, on the Vigil of the Ascension, Imelda once again pleaded for the Eucharist, but the officiating priest refused her. Imelda would not take “no” for an answer this time, so she fervently asked Jesus for the grace to receive him.

After Mass, when nearly everyone had left the chapel, Imelda continued to pray. The sacristan noticed a growing bright light above Imelda’s head, and within the glow, a eucharistic host appeared.

The chaplain ran forward with a paten, and Imelda finally received the body of Christ. With a rapturous smile on her face and her hands upraised, Imelda instantly died on her knees. Those who tell the story say her heart broke from the greatness of Jesus’ love.

Her body never decomposed, and visitors can pray before the little patroness of First Communion at the Church of San Sigismondo in Bologna.”

Today is also Fathers’ Day, and we honour and remember our fathers and father figures, and for the sacrifices that they have made. Being a parent or a father figure is difficult as there are so many responsibilities that need shouldering. I think we do not thank our fathers and father figures enough.

This brings to mind the Lee family dispute; it is important to honour the father’s last wishes and this dispute can be settled amicably and peacefully as a house is but a physical structure. A house can be mended if exposed to wear and tear, but broken hearts might not be so easy to mend. There are many other ways to remember the past contributions of Singapore’s leaders and surely fighting over a house is not one of them.

Say a short prayer if your family is going through difficult times, as family ties are more important at the end of the day.

May we continue to pray for each other, that we may experience the love of Jesus and treasure our family by being grateful for them. Let us continue loving one another as Jesus has commanded us.

Father Day’s Prayer 

Dear Lord,
So much attention has been given to mothers that often fathers are forgotten. We are not able to cry as mothers do when things become difficult. Yet we often cry quietly within, worrying about so many things. We have to keep the family safe, provide for the family, save enough for our children’s education and worry that they will grow up wrong.

Yet we face the dilemma of being too hard that we may hurt our children or too soft that we may spoil them. All too often we face a conflicted guilt of spending too much time in our work to provide for the family and then feel bad that we have so little time for our wives and children. We have wanted many times to say sorry for this, but do not even know where to begin.

But through it all, we fathers thank You, for the many joys that come with being fathers. The joys of realizing how we can love our children unconditionally, seeing them growing up at every stage of their lives, and most of all, whenever they turn out right.

Please Lord, help us fathers to be always wise and fair in our dealings, to have patience and unconditional love. In all that we do and be, help us to build a family that empowers our wives to be happy, our children to turn out right and to be God-fearing. Finally, help us fathers to remember that we are called fathers after You, who is Father of us all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Credits to Fr Joachim (Church of the Transfiguration)

Happy Father’s Day and God Bless!

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

 

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