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Conviction

November 25, 2016

Could we be convicted of being a Christian?  If we were hauled into court and accused, could we be convicted of being a Catholic Christian?  Certainly a good standard to hold up.  I think of the hymn, “And they’ll know we are Christians, by our love.”

I had a friend – a Four Square Protestant – press me for an answer as to why I was Catholic.  Surely it didn’t matter much, which denomination.  I told this friend, ‘because of John Chapter 6.  Read it and re-read it.  Jesus meant what he said, and said what he meant.’  “Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life.”  And remember, the thought of eating a man’s flesh is repugnant to the Jews, and drinking any blood is forbidden under the Law.  So much so that a man’s wife becomes unclean for giving birth and coming in contact with blood from the birthing (even the Mother of God).

John uses earthy wording here: Flesh vice bread, as Paul and others had used.  And not just to eat, but to gnaw, or to munch.  So the fact that disciples, weak in their faith, were muttering in tomorrow’s reading, “This saying is hard; who can accept this?” (John 6:60) makes it crystal clear – the language Christ used left them with no doubt.  And they walked away. But, where else shall we go?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church would come forth and emphasize to us from Lumen Gentium, that the Eucharist was the “source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC 1324).  And Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI would echo this by simply stating, “Without the Eucharist, the Church simply does not exist.”

Saul, persecutor of this upstart cult, and a zealous murderer, is brought to the ground, humbled, and made an instrument of the Lord.  Those who doubt, doubt.  Those who embrace truth, bring forth the truth.

But, the single most important thing to remember of this week, certainly today, is this: The Lord has set the Eucharistic theme, he has set the bread of Himself to the table for all those that would believe in him; for all of us who would believe in Him and the One who sent Him.  The Evangelist Mark lends his verse today as well, “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.”  By participating in the Mass and accepting the grace and taking in the nourishment of the Eucharist, we must, and we are dismissed from here every time for this very reason, to go forth and be that manna for the many that are still in the desert.

And, by the way, my friend did go back to John Chapter 6 with fresh eyes, called me up from the East Coast and said that they were starting RCIA upon their return, which they did.  Thanks be to God.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Love, Papa

April 15, 2016, Friday, Third Friday of Easter.

Acts 9: 1-20.  This man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles.

Responsorial – Mark 16:15. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

John 6: 52-59.  My Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink.

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