Devotional Thoughts for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost – 9th June 2013

By the Grace of God Almighty we are entering the third week after the feast of Pentecost. Today’s reading is taken from the 6th chapter of St. John’s Gospel, which is often revered as the Holy Biblical portion that deals with the establishment of the sacrament of Holy Eucharist.  In verse 35, we notice three words that were uttered by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They are:
1)    Bread of life
2)    Hunger
3)    Believes
Let us try to see them one by one. Our Lord chose bread and wine, which were the normal food of the Middle Eastern people, as the substance for the Holy mysteries/ He took the bread and said: this is my flesh. He took the cup of wine and said: this is my blood. Why our Lord might have selected the normal food of the people as the substance for the Holy Eucharist? He was so sure that none would not reject the normal food. For this simple reason, the Holy Church continues the sacrament with the same substance, which turns to be our Savior’s flesh and blood, by the blessing of God Almighty. Our Lord announced several times that He is the bread of life. (See verses 35 and 48) In the only one prayer taught by our Lord, which is often known as Lord’s Prayer, we beseech for our daily bread. Many people get confused about the bread asked during the prayer. Lord Jesus taught us several times that there is no need for asking the daily needs like food and similar needs as they are the look out of our Lord God. He taught the humanity to pray for the bread of life, which is the administration of the Holy Eucharist. So we all are obliged to pray for the bread and not food. In Malayalam, we use the term ‘Aaharam’ for food and the same is used by many unknowingly. All those who recite the Lord’s Prayer in Malayalam, are supposed to use ‘Appam’ instead of “Aharam”. When the first man was created by God, it was done by God Himself, as we understand from the book of Genesis.
In the New Testament era, there is another creation of humanity in God. Lord Jesus enabled mankind to take a re-birth in God and by the same process each faithful becomes the son or daughter of God or in a wider sense a part of God. Whenever a faithful accepts the Holy Communion, he or she becomes the part and parcel of the divine of body of Christ. The blood in the veins of the faithful becomes the blood of Lord Jesus. In the New Testament, an ordained faithful is allowed to participate in the spiritual creation of mankind. A celebrant when he takes the Holy Mysteries in his hands and utters the divine words of the Lord, the celebrant turns to be a representative of our Lord Jesus and when he might administer the divine flesh and blood of the Savior to the mankind, he becomes the co-partner of the process of spiritual creation or providing salvation. Whenever a faithful would accept the Holy Eucharist, he or she must have the staunch faith that he or she is accepting the flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus, which is the bread of life which came down from heaven and incarnated.
Our Lord did not mean the physical hunger and He meant the spiritual hunger. As we are not bothered of our spiritual nourishment we often does not feel the spiritual hunger. One who is living in Christ, will have the spiritual hunger and he or she must be longing to have more and more spiritual nourishment. Let us think whether we are having spiritual hunger and thirst.
We all might claim that we all are believers. But what we believe? Are we concerned about it. The Holy Church has the creed of faith. Do we give the proper importance for the Creed? If we do not practice in reciting the creed every now and often, especially when we are praying, how can we be sure of our belief and faith? Let us give real and due importance to the Creed. Let us have strong and staunch faith in our faith in our Lord God who saved us from sin and death as and when He gave His own blood as the ransom for our sins. Let us have good repentance and if not we repent, we cannot keep up our faith and belief.
May God bless us all
Jose Kurian Puliyeril, Kottayam

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