Memory of Jesus crucified

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Memorial of Saint Adalbert, bishop of Prague. He suffered martyrdom in eastern Prussia where he had gone to preach the Gospel (+997). He spent time in Rome, where his memory is venerated in the basilica of Saint Bartholomew on the Tiberine Island.


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

When Jesus' words ask for the audience's involvement in his very 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 feel satisfied with their lives even if it is not true. Those who are satisfied with themselves do not ask; those who are full of their "I" do not extending their hands. In fact, even if we were satiated and surrounded by goods, food and words, we would be hungry of happiness and love, care and support. We should imitate more the poor who extend their hands to ask for help and do it insistently. In a society that thinks to be satisfied and consumerist, but in fact is fragile and full of fears, they can become teachers of a new life. They bring to surface 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 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 understand it; it is necessary to eat and take nourishment from the Gospel and the love of brothers and sisters. We need to become beggars for the bread that the world does not know how to produce or in any event 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." This is why the ancient Fathers said that Christians "live according to Sunday" that is following the logic of the Eucharist, of Jesus who came to serve and make love grow among people.