One Minute Reflection – 22 April – Thursday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:26-40, Responsorial Psalm 66(65):8-9.16-17.20, John 6:44-51
“The bread that I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world.” – John 6:51
REFLECTION – “They are wholly mistaken who reject God’s plan for His creation, deny the salvation of the flesh and scoff at the idea of its regeneration, asserting that it cannot put on an imperishable nature. If the flesh is not saved, then the Lord did not redeem us with His Blood, the Chalice of the Eucharist is not a share in His Blood and the Bread which we break is not a share in His Body (1Cor 10,16). For… the human substance, which the Word of God truly became, redeems us with His Blood…
Since we are His members (1Cor 6,15) and are nourished by His creation… He declared, that the Chalice of His creation is His own Blood, from which He augments our own blood and He affirmed, that the Bread of His creation is His own Body from which He gives growth to our being.
So, when the mixed chalice and the baked loaf receive the word of God and when the Eucharistic elements become the Body and Blood of Christ, which brings growth and sustenance to our bodily frame, how can it be maintained that our flesh is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life?
For our flesh feeds on the Lord’s Body and Blood and is His member. So Saint Paul writes: “We are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones” (Eph 5,30; Gn 2,23). He is not speaking about some spiritual and invisible man…: he is speaking of the anatomy of a real man, consisting of flesh, nerves and bones. It is this that is nourished by His Chalice, the Chalice of His Blood and gains growth from the Bread which is His Body… In the same way, our bodies are nourished by the after being buried in the earth and… rise again in due season, when the word of God confers resurrection upon them “for the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2,11).” – St Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202) Bishop, Theologian and Martyr
Against the heresies, V, 2, 2
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, in Your Word, You shed the light of Your glory on the peoples who are living in the shadow of death. By Your Word, You teach us all things and ‘draw’ us in the way of hope and love. For Your Word is Truth and Your Word became flesh and filled our world with the Sun of Justice, Your Son, He who is the Sun and the Truth. May our steps be guided by His Mother, Our Blessed Lady, as we follow in the footsteps of Your Word and be a protection in our trials by the Bread of Life. Through Christ, our Lord Jesus, with You in union with the Holy Spirit, now and forever, amen.
Acts 8: 26-40
26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying: Arise, go towards the south, to the way that goeth down from Jerusalem into Gaza:=, this is desert.
27 And rising up, he went. And behold a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch, of great authority under Candace the Queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge over all her treasures, had come to Jerusalem to adore.
28 And he was returning, sitting in his chariot, and reading Isaias the prophet.
29 And the Spirit said to Philip: Go near and join thyself to this chariot.
30 And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understand what thou readest?
31 Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
32 And the place of the scripture which he was reading was this: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter and like a lamb without voice before his shearer, so openeth he not his mouth.
33 In humility his judgEment was taken away. His generation who shall declare, for his life shall be taken from the earth?
34 And the eunuch answering Philip, said: I beseech thee, of whom doth the prophet speak this? of himself, or of some other man?
35 Then Philip, opening his mouth and beginning at this scripture, preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water and the eunuch said: See, here is water, what doth hinder me from being baptised?
37 And Philip said: If thou believe with all thy heart, thou may. And he answering, said: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch:and he baptised him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took away Philip and the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing.
40 But Philip was found in Azotus and passing through, he preached the gospel to all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
Gospel: John 6: 44-51
44 No man can come to me, except the Father, who has sent me, draw him and I will raise him up in the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets: And they shall all be taught of God. Everyone that has heard of the Father and has learned, cometh to me.
46 Not that any man has seen the Father but he who is of God, he has seen the Father.
47 Amen, amen I say unto you: He that believes in me, hath everlasting life.
48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the desert and are dead.
50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that if any man eat of it, he may not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.