Memory of Jesus crucified

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 6, 52-59

Then the Jews started arguing among themselves, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?'

Jesus replied to them: In all truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day.

For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person.

As the living Father sent me and I draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will also draw life from me.

This is the bread which has come down from heaven; it is not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.

This is what he taught at Capernaum in the synagogue.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This Gospel passage brings us into the second part of Jesus’ preaching on the bread of life in the synagogue at Capernaum. When the theme became evident and began to clearly show the audience’s involvement in Jesus’ mystery, they interrupted him and began to mutter words against him: they could not accept that this young man from Nazareth came from heaven, that he had been sent by God: "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" They speak this way because they have no intentions of humbling themselves to ask this man, whom they regard as their equal, for help in their lives. They don’t want to humiliate themselves by confessing their hunger, by extending their hands, as do the poor and beggars who are in need of help. They don’t want to depend on him. They feel satiated with themselves. And whoever feels satiated does not ask for anything; those who are full of themselves do not yield. In truth, even if they are satiated and surrounded by many good things, such as food and words, they are all hungry, hungry for happiness and love. Let us look to the poor and how they ask insistently, and let us imitate them! Today they are our teachers. They clearly manifest what we secretly are —that is, mendicants of love and attention. The poor are hungry, not only for bread, but also for love. And so are we. Jesus also continues to say to us: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." To have life it is not enough to want or to think; it is necessary to eat. We need to become beggars for the bread that the world does not know how to produce and therefore does not know how to give. The Eucharist is given freely to us, and all are able to partake in it. And each time, we anticipate heaven on earth. Around the altar, we find that which takes away our hunger and thirst today and for all of eternity. From this bread, we learn what eternal life is, that for which life is worth living: "Whoever eats me will live because of me." The Eucharist moulds us so that we may no longer live only for ourselves, but for the Lord and for our brothers and sisters. Happiness and eternal life depend on the Gospel love that we receive in the Eucharist.