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Thursday, April 17, 1997

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Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 66
John 6:44-51

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do you believe?

"I Myself am the living Bread come down from heaven." —John 6:51

Jesus said: "The bread I will give is My flesh, for the life of the world" (Jn 6:51). At the Last Supper, Jesus took the bread and the cup of wine and said: "This is My body," and "This is My blood" (Mt 26:26, 28). When many of Jesus' disciples broke away from Him because of such statements (see Jn 6:66), Jesus didn't change His words or explain them away as figurative statements. The early Church realized this; therefore, they took Jesus' words literally, as He clearly meant them. They believed they were receiving the body and blood of Jesus when they received Holy Communion. The Church, from Jesus' time to the present day, has believed this, lived it, and even died for it.

Do you believe you receive Jesus' body and blood, soul and divinity, when you receive Communion? If so, Communion is the center of your life, one of the most important events of your life, and the greatest time of each day. If you believe what Jesus said about Communion, you will probably try to receive Communion daily, frequently visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and tell others about Jesus' eucharistic love.

Shortly before Jesus died, He gave the apostles Communion. On the day He rose from the dead, He again gave two disciples Communion. Jesus is also preoccupied with giving His body and blood to us, His disciples today. Open your eyes to recognize the risen Christ (Lk 24:30-31). Today, and daily, receive Communion.

Prayer:  Father, may I desire to receive Jesus in Holy Communion as Jesus desires to give Himself (see Lk 22:15).

Promise:  "Philip launched out with this Scripture passage as his starting point, telling him the good news of Jesus." —Acts 8:35

Praise:  Father Ralph couldn't eat for several days after serious surgery. He witnessed later to his congregation that the hunger didn't bother him, but that what hurt him most was that the doctors wouldn't allow him to receive the Eucharist. He declared: "I'm hungry for Jesus!"

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 9, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 15, 1996