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Friday, April 15, 2005

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Acts 9:1-20
Psalm 117
John 6:52-59

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the real presence

"Let Me solemnly assure you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." —John 6:53

Jesus offended his listeners by claiming He would give them His flesh to eat. This started a quarrel (Jn 6:52). But Jesus kept repeating the offensive expression, "eating His flesh" (see Jn 6:53, 54, 55, 56). He even added a more offensive statement when He commanded His followers to "drink His blood" (Jn 6:53). He also repeated this expression (Jn 6:54, 55, 56). "After hearing His words, many of His disciples remarked, 'This sort of talk is hard to endure!' " (Jn 6:60)

"From this time on, many of His disciples broke away and would not remain in His company any longer" (Jn 6:66). Nevertheless, Jesus did not recant or even modify His terminology. He was willing to lose even the twelve apostles rather than change one word (Jn 6:67).

When we receive Communion, we receive the body and blood of Christ. Jesus meant this literally. He clearly refused to explain it symbolically. In Communion, we have Jesus' "real presence." We can't explain it, but we believe it because we have faith in His word.

Prayer:  Jesus, this Easter time may I recognize You in Holy Communion (Lk 24:31). May this change my life.

Promise:  "I have been sent by the Lord Jesus Who appeared to you on the way here, to help you recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." —Acts 9:17

Praise:  For 52 years, Sister Mary Clare has prayed three hours daily before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Eucharistic Obedience on audio AV 73-1 or video V-73.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004

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