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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 29.04.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 29.04.2023

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ACTS 9: 31 – 42

In those days: The Church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was built up; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit it was multiplied. Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints that lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas or Gazelle. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him entreating him, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter rose and went with them. And when he had come, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping, and showing coats and garments which Dorcas made while she was with them. But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and widows he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 116: 12 – 13, 14 – 15, 16 – 17 (R.) 12

R/. How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me?
Or:
Alleluia.

How can I repay the Lord
for all his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call on the name of the Lord. R/.

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people.
How precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful. R/.

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I,
the son of your handmaid;
you have loosened my bonds.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;
I will call on the name of the Lord. R/.

ALLELUIA
John 6: 63c, 68c

Alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of eternal life.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
JOHN 6: 60 – 69

At that time: Many of the disciples of Jesus said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offence at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer walked with him. Jesus said to the Twelve, “Will you also go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: A “Hard” and Deep Mystery
April 29, 2023

Today’s Gospel concludes the beautiful and profound sermon on the Bread of Life (see John 6:22–71). When you read this sermon from beginning to end, it is noticeable that Jesus moves from more general statements about the Bread of Life that are easier to accept to more specific statements that are challenging. He concludes His teaching just prior to today’s Gospel by saying very directly, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” After Jesus said this, many who had been listening to Him left Him and no longer followed Him.

There are generally three common attitudes people have toward the Most Holy Eucharist. One attitude is that of profound faith. Another is that of indifference. And a third is what we find in today’s Gospel: disbelief. Those who walked away from Jesus in today’s Gospel did so because they said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” What a great statement and question to ponder.

It is true, in a certain way, that the teaching of Jesus on the Most Holy Eucharist is a hard saying. “Hard,” however, is not bad. It’s hard in the sense that belief in the Eucharist is only possible through a faith that comes from a deep interior revelation from God. In the case of those who walked away from Jesus, they heard His teaching, but their hearts were closed to the gift of faith. They remained stuck on a purely intellectual level, and, thus, the idea of eating the Flesh and Blood of the Son of God was more than they could comprehend. So who could accept such a statement? Only those who listen to our Lord as He speaks to them interiorly. It is only that interior conviction that comes from God that can be proof of the truthfulness of the Holy Eucharist.

Do you believe that when you consume that which appears to be only “bread and wine,” you are actually consuming Christ Himself? Do you understand this teaching of our Lord on the Bread of Life? It is a hard saying and a difficult teaching, which is why it must be taken very seriously. For those who do not flat out reject this teaching, there is also the temptation to be somewhat indifferent to the teaching. It can easily be misunderstood to be just symbolism in the way our Lord talks. But the symbolism is much more than just symbolism. It’s a profound, challenging, and life-changing teaching of how we share in the divine and eternal life our Lord wishes to bestow upon us.

Reflect, today, upon how deeply you believe this hard saying of Jesus. The fact that it is a “hard” saying should make you seriously examine your own faith or lack thereof. What Jesus teaches is life-changing. It’s life-giving. And when clearly understood, you will be challenged to either believe with your whole heart or turn away in disbelief. Allow yourself to believe in the Most Holy Eucharist with your whole heart and you will find that you are believing one of the most profound Mysteries of Faith.

PRAYER:
My glorious Lord, Your teaching on the Most Holy Eucharist is beyond human comprehension. It is a mystery so deep that we will never fully understand this precious gift. Open my eyes, dear Lord, and speak to my mind so that I may listen to Your words and respond with the deepest faith. Jesus, I trust in You.

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