St. John 6,53-59 Early Christians faced several problems because of their faith in Christ.

During the first three centuries they suffered persecution. They were accused of disloyalty, of atheism, of hatred towards mankind, of hidden crimes, such as incest, infanticide and ritual cannibalism; likewise they were held responsible for all natural calamities, such as plagues, floods, famines, etc. In the first century they were accused of setting fire to the City of Rome. As a result they suffered persecution and many of them were martyred. Even in that situation, early Christian continued with fervor the tradition of meeting together the first day of the week; and, according to the Jesus´ command they participated in the Holy Eucharist. Based on that practice, a rumor arose between the people. Justo Gonzalez, a historian of Christianity says that popular people interpreted erroneously the practice of Holy Eucharist. People said that Christians in their meetings had a banquet of human meat. They supposedly had the practice of hiding a new born baby inside a loaf of bread; then they ordered the neophytes - people who wanted to be initiated into Christianity - to cut the bread; then, they ate that baby’s body; the new members had to keep that secret. Just like those pagan people had erroneous ideas about the Eucharist, the Jews also did not understand what Jesus was teaching them: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." During the last Sundays we heard Jesus teaching about “The Bread of Life”; now he changes that analogy and starts to talk about the sacrifice of his body on the cross. Jesus´ idea has now shifted from eating bread, to eating flesh. The reaction was immediate; the Jews were revolted by the idea of cannibalism. This is one of the more difficult passages of the New Testament; so, it was obvious that people were confused about that statement. The listeners took his words literally; they did not understand the metaphor of the flesh and blood. “The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying,How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Jesus is talking about his sacrifice on the cross and how his body and his blood will be offered for the sake of the world; and how he will become the “Bread of life” for all of humanity. Jesus is also anticipating the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist in which all the people who partake of it, receive the presence of “the Risen Christ” in their lives; because Jesus offers eternal life to all those who believe in him and partake of him: “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true

When we are strengthened because of our communion with Christ. Eucharistic Prayer C has a very special prayer that reveals the true sense of our participation in the Eucharistic: “Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only. sickness. to the world. But. is an anticipation of the glorious and eternal communion with Christ. we as Christians . because the Eucharist here. but we are called to revive the world through our revived actions. Believing in Jesus as the Messiah. we are able to act in favor of others. and as a result they were not able to understand what Jesus said to them. that we may worthily serve the world in his name” Risen Lord. the strengthening of our union with Christ and with one another. is the first step we need in order to understand the meaning of eating and drinking his blood. as a result we feel revived! Why do we feel revived? Because we receive many benefits: the forgiveness of our sins. We must not take those benefits of Holy Communion only for ourselves. proclaiming the real life. then we become real Disciples of Christ. but we also receive the spiritual grace of the presence of Christ in our lives. Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body. Today there are many ideas about Christianity and its practices. we receive the outward and visible signs of the bread and the wine. Currently. then. people live with fear.participate in the Eucharist and receive the life of Jesus in our entire being. Some people cannot understand the meaning of the Eucharist. one spirit in Christ. Therefore we must not neglect this relation with Christ. When we believe in Jesus we come into an intimate relationship with him. for pardon only. and not for renewal. and not for strength.with an intimate relationship with Jesus . which is in and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me” The problem for the Jews was that they did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. anguish. be known to us in the breaking of the Bread. The son of God. when we partake of the Eucharist. and with a sense of death. There are many strange and superstitious ideas about that. and the foretaste of the heavenly banquet. it means we bring the Risen Christ to them. .

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