“Jesus Christ Our Lord, who with his ineffable love gave himself for us.” (Thomas of Celano, First Life of St. Francis of Assisi, Chapter XXX, [FF86])
In the Church, as in Franciscan spirituality, the mystery of the incarnation of Christ and of the gift of his body and blood in the Eucharist is both the center and culmination of the celebration of the Love of the Father for his children. This proclamation made by Jesus in the synagogue in Capernaum reveals everything about his mysterious gift to men, but the consequences of these words led many of his followers to turn away. Jesus had not been understood by everyone, indeed by some was considered a fool. What the people were seeking were his miracles and healings, rather than the freshness and profundity of the message he had come to announce to all people: a message that required a more radical response and that announced his all-encompassing love for humanity, and one that was based neither on miracles nor on a God revealed through power and force.
Jesus’ Eucharistic discourse in the synagogue in Capernaum proclaimed to those who followed him, the day after the multiplication of loaves and fish, what the nature of the true bread was that did not perish. Jesus’ proclamation that only those who ate his flesh and drank his blood will have eternal life represented a difficult test of faith for his disciples. Faith was required from the disciples that time and every time. When each of us faces the consecrated bread and wine it is necessary to have the gift of faith for welcoming Christ, and in him is eternal life.
Jesus is the True Bread of Life
The True Bread of Life