FRIDAY, THIRD WEEK OF EASTER
Acts 9: 1-20; Ps 117: 1-2; Jn 6: 52-59
ALLOW JESUS TO TRANSFORM YOU
One of the remarkable stories of astounding turnarounds is the story of Saint Paul. He was bent upon destroying and killing Christians. And filled with this zeal, with the permission of the high priest, goes to Damascus, to kill the followers of Jesus there. But in an astounding turnaround, the same man is converted into an instrument to take the gospel to the nations. Once a proud Jew, he becomes a proud follower of Jesus. And placing this event before us during Eastertide, the liturgy calls us also to be transformed by the experience of the risen Christ.
In the gospel, Jesus introduces the third section of the discourse on the Eucharist after having been interrupted by the Jews. This part specifically concentrates on actual eating of the bread of life. He no longer speaks of belief in the bread of life, but rather speaks of eating the life-giving bread, that is Jesus himself, and by extension, this section speaks of the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ, which believers must receive to have life in abundance. Jesus tells the doubting Jews of his divinity and invites them to let go of their hesitancy to enter fully into the life of God. John, emphatically presents this section, that he does not need actually to make mention of the Last Supper itself. He already includes the themes that feature in the discourse after the Last Supper, the indwelling of Christ in the believer, the believer’s transformation, and eternal life.
As we continue to reflect on the Easter season, we are invited to give up our prejudices and rigid beliefs as we see in the gospel and to accept Jesus into our lives. By taking the words literally, Jews in the gospel failed to understand what Jesus is communicating to them. We often fail to recognize the risen Christ in our lives, because of our rigidity, holding onto our beliefs and customs. We need to open ourselves to him, to accept him into our lives. Let us also have a transformative experience like Paul who allowed Christ to permeate him.
Response: Go into all the world, and proclaim the Gospel.
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