Thursday of the Third Week of Easter
The Fall is that reality-shattering moment when mankind as a whole—then all contained in Adam and Eve—turned away from God. Here in Capernaum God, in His Son, calls mankind back, assuring us that we are already His; He already loves us and will not reject any who come to Him.
We come to God by grace, as a response to the love God already has for us; we do not go to God purely of our own initiative. A heart returning to God is drawn by love, by invitation, by knowledge of God. In His Bread of Life discourse Jesus is revealing Himself to the crowd so that they might come to believe in Him, to see Him in their hearts and follow after. This is what it is to love: to see, to know a person with the heart, and this is precisely what Christ is trying to do with the crowd, to teach them how to love God. When we listen to God and let His Word dwell in our hearts, we naturally come to Jesus who is the Incarnate Love of God, for Jesus came precisely because of God’s love for us. We must go to Jesus if we wish to know the Father, if we wish to love God fully, because only He has seen the Father. This is not simply because He has come from Heaven; this is because He knows the Father on the same level He desires us to know Himself, to “see” not with our eyes but with our hearts. Only Jesus has seen the Father because only He has loved the Father.
Jesus is the living bread that comes down from Heaven, the Word that proceeds from the mouth of God that sustains us beyond the power of mere bread. (Deut. 8:3) It is the living Word of God, uttered on the breath of His love for us (Gen. 2:7, Jn. 20:22), that gives us life, and Jesus is the Word of God made flesh (Jn. 1:14). Therefore whoever eats this bread will live forever, because the Word of God is eternal (Lk. 21:33, Is. 40:8); whoever receives God’s Word in his heart has eternal life, for he has the life of God. (Jn. 1:3-4) Do not, then, simply go to Communion and receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Son of God into your mouth, your throat, your stomach; rather let the Word-Made-Flesh enter into your heart and know Him there; let your “amen” be as much an “I love you” as it is an “I believe.” Ask God for the grace you need to see Him and know Him in your heart, that being fed upon His love you might have life and have it more abundantly. (Jn. 10:10)