The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Friday of the Third Week of Easter is John 6:52-59. 

Nearing the end of the Sermon of the Bread of Life in the synagogue at Capernaum, after revealing He is the Son of God who came down from Heaven and is the Bread of Life, Christ has stunned the crowd by revealing that His glorified flesh is the “Bread of Life” men must eat to receive eternal life.  Previously, Christ rebuked the Jews who quietly murmured among themselves because they were skeptical of Christ’s claim to have “come down from Heaven”. Now, the Jews break into violent argument over Christ’s revelation that they must eat His flesh, confused because they assume Christ is suggesting cannibalism, something repugnant (Deut 28:53) and forbidden. 

Rather than relieve their confusion, Christ takes it further, insisting that not only must men eat His flesh, but also drink His blood, a practice absolutely forbidden even for animal blood (Gen 9:4, Lev 17:10-14); Christ’s reference to His Body and Blood is a revelation of the Eucharist. Christ does not tone things down or attempt to clarify He is speaking figuratively (to eat of His wisdom); instead, He further inflames things by using uses a very graphic word for “eat” (Greek: trogo) which means “to gnaw.” Christ insists for men to be raised up on the Last Day, they must “gnaw” on the real food of His flesh and drink His blood. Christ confirms again that His Father in Heaven has sent Him and reiterates that men must eat Him for eternal life. 

Christ, for His own mysterious purposes, does not alleviate the confusion of the Jews who can only imagine He is speaking of cannibalism and drinking forbidden blood. Christ is not speaking figuratively, but is offering a mysterious preview of the glory of His Resurrection and His glorified body. It is His resurrected glorified flesh and blood in the Eucharist which will give eternal spiritual life, not the physical flesh and blood of His Incarnation; Christ promises to literally abide in men who receive the Eucharist. 

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of Man, Christ confirms His intimate relationship with the Father. Divine Prophet, Christ professes truth about the reality of eternal life and salvation through Him. Divine Priest, Christ alludes to His divine sacrifice on the altar of Calvary in which His Body and Blood will become real food in the Eucharist.  

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Marvel at how Christ fearlessly shakes the Jews to their core and is willing to provoke open conflict over the stunning Truth of the Eucharist.

2) Every man struggles with sin and loneliness, often feeling abandoned in the Spiritual Battle of life. Reflect upon Christ’s amazing promise to Abide with His Men (“to stand fast in battle”; CCC 787, 1391, 1406) in the Eucharist and ask Him to help you become more aware of His saving presence in the ongoing battles of your daily life.

3) Men sometimes experience a dry/lifeless/bored experience of the Mass for multiple reasons (lack of formation, failure to prepare, un-confessed sin, irreverence in the Mass, etc.). During Easter, return to the Christ’s amazing Invitation to Communion (CCC 1384-1390) and pray for Him to give you a deep awe-filled reverence and hunger for the Eucharist.