Jesus is Our Nourishment



By Fr. Martinus Suparjiyo, PR.
Parish of St. Joseph, Duri

Hunger is one of man’s major problems. More people die from hunger than from being attacked by wild animals, from accidents or because of war. Man cannot live without nutritious food.

If we meet a beggar they will not say, “Help us because we have no house” rather they will say “help us because we have not eaten yet.” A low salaried employee will always say, “My wage is really not enough to buy new clothes, but thank GOD my family can eat daily and stay healthy.” Food is one of man’s basic needs. If we lack food, we have no energy, we cannot work and cannot study because we have no strength. Without food, it is impossible for us to grow and stay alive.

Our spiritual life is no different from our physical life, without the appropriate and right food our spiritual life will weaken, become unhealthy and eventually die. During our Baptism we receive a new life when we become Children of GOD. In the same manner, we humans will not grow without food, such is the case also with the Children of GOD; we cannot grow and will not become strong to live forever without proper nourishment.

What is in store for us as Children of GOD? In the Gospel Reading from John 6:51-58, the answer is clear. Jesus said,
“I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever…. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me and I in him.” Jesus wanted to give Himself so we will live. Eating His body and drinking His blood means believing in Him and wanting to live with Him. The Jews did not believe, so they did not understand the real meaning of what Jesus said. Their minds are closed to believing in Jesus.

Jesus giving Himself happened during the Last Supper and became a reality at the Cross. He gave Himself totally for the salvation of believers. Supposing we do not know what happened on the night before He suffered, we would become like the Jews who said, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

When Jesus bade farewell to His disciples, it became clear what He really meant. On that night Jesus took the bread and wine saying, “This bread and wine is not just food for your body but nourishment for your life as Son of GOD. Only those that eat My flesh and drink My blood will have the real and eternal life.” At the Last Supper Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist. After that time His followers meet frequently to celebrate the Eucharist, sharing together the Body and Blood of Christ. Being one with Christ makes them one with their neighbors and since they are one with their neighbors Christ is surely present in their midst.

As promised before He ascended into Heaven, Jesus is always present in the midst of his followers. So if we are His followers who gather and love in His name, GOD is present, accompanying and strengthening us in the person of His Son, Jesus.

Jesus’ presence in His Church is genuine every time His followers celebrate the Eucharist, where we receive His Body and Blood. Through this celebration we proclaim His death, celebrate His resurrection and wait for His second coming. In the Eucharist we receive the Living Bread that came down from Heaven; we receive the Body and Blood of Christ that make us one with Him. We receive the life of Jesus, which assures eternal life for His believers. Receiving the Eucharist makes us to live in Christ and Christ to live in us.

We thank GOD because we can celebrate the Eucharist where Jesus gave Himself to become nourishment for us, which makes our life eternal. Let us celebrate every Eucharist with thanksgiving, so that our faith in Jesus will become stronger and so be able to follow Jesus and His work of salvation.