Blood of Jesus ChristÂ â€” John 6:48-59
I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, How can this man give us his flesh to eat Jesus said to them, I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real 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 live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live for ever. He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land met with death due toÂ starvation. God gave them manna in the wilderness with which theirÂ temporal life was sustained. Likewise we are on a journey to theÂ Promised Land and we find ourselves to be starving without the breadÂ that ensures us life in its fullness.
â€œFor God so loved the world thatÂ he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may notÂ perish but may have eternal lifeâ€ (Jn. 3: 16). God being the soleÂ source and principle of life is pleased to give himself to his peopleÂ in his Son. So Jesus tells here that without eating His flesh andÂ drinking the blood of Jesus we canâ€™t share in His eternal life. As manna gaveÂ temporal life in the wilderness, the new bread of life that is theÂ flesh and blood of Jesus Christ gives eternal life.
Manna was given fromÂ above but it was not the bread of life, so those who ate of it died.Â But Jesus is the only true bread of life that comes from heaven.Â Eating this bread is eating Jesusâ€™ flesh and drinking his blood. HereÂ we can understand that Jesus is telling us about the Holy Eucharist.
God loves us and wants us to have a share of His life and it is to beÂ actualized in and through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus came down to usÂ and gives Himself allowing us to partake in His flesh and blood, i.e. in His life itself. Those who eat and drink blood of Jesus Christ are in Him and He is in them.
Thus a person attains the character of God i.e. eternal life,Â by sharing in His flesh and blood. Mutual indwelling is the result ofÂ the reception of this bread. Manna in the wilderness gave themÂ temporal life but did not form a part of them; here the new manna ofÂ life gives them eternal life. Through His bodyÂ and blood, Jesusâ€™ indwelling in a believer is made possible and itÂ results in our eternal life.Â This is guaranteed as the life-sharingÂ relation of the Son with the Father.
Thus the reception of theÂ Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is inevitable for eternal life as mannaÂ is for earthly life. So let us be the sharers of divine life byÂ partaking in the body and blood of Jesus. Let us approach the HolyÂ Eucharist with love and experience the abiding love of God in Jesus Christ, through His body and blood.
– â€“ â€“ reflection by Fr Abraham Muruppel