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Sunday, August 13, 2000

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19th Sunday Ordinary Time

1 Kings 19:4-8
Ephesians 4:30—5:2
Psalm 34
John 6:41-51

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love him or leave him

"I Myself am the living Bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this Bread he shall live forever; the Bread I will give is My flesh, for the life of the world." —John 6:51

The ancient Jews and many people since then have "quarreled among themselves, saying, 'How can He (Jesus) give us His flesh to eat?' " (Jn 6:52) In response, Jesus insisted that His flesh was real food and His blood real drink (Jn 6:55). Jesus also insisted that it was absolutely necessary to eat His flesh and drink His blood if we were to have life, be raised from the dead, and live in Him (Jn 6:53ff).

"After hearing His words, many of His disciples remarked, 'This sort of talk is hard to endure! How can anyone take it seriously?' " (Jn 6:60) "From this time on, many of His disciples broke away and would not remain in His company any longer. Jesus then said to the Twelve, 'Do you want to leave Me too?' " (Jn 6:66-67)

Right now, in this Great Jubilee, the two-thousandth anniversary of Jesus' Incarnation, and this "intensely eucharistic" year (Towards the Third Millennium, Pope John Paul II, 55), the Lord is asking us the same question. Will we believe Him and receive His body and blood in the Eucharist as often as possible? Will we center our lives on the Eucharist? Or will we leave Jesus?

Let the Father draw you (Jn 6:44) and the Holy Spirit "guide you to all truth" (Jn 16:13). By faith, eat Jesus' flesh and drink His blood.

Prayer:  "Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore. O make us love Thee more and more!"

Promise:  "Get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander, and malice of every kind. In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ." —Eph 4:31-32

Praise:  Jesus, risen and eucharistic Lord, I give You my life and my all.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, March 8, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 9, 2000