Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – Third Week of Easter – Thursday – John 6:44-51
The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the Third Week of Easter is John 6:44-51.
Continuing with the Sermon of the Bread of Life, Christ has revealed that He is the bread of life and that men who believe in Him will never thirst or hunger again. The Jewish crowd, afraid to confront Christ directly, rebelliously murmured among themselves, skeptically dismissing Jesus as simply the “son of Joseph”(and Mary). Echoing back to how Moses rebuked the Jews who complained about manna in the Exodus, Christ bluntly rebukes them, telling them to stop murmurring (John 6:41-43; omitted from the Missal).
Christ continues His stinging rebuke, bluntly revealing that God the Father draws men to Christ and men who do not come to Christ have failed to hear and learn from the Father. Christ again claims divine intimacy with God (John 6:38), going further to reveal that He has seen the Father and cryptically revealing those who listen to Him have “been taught by God.” Christ emphatically reiterates that men who believe in Him will have eternal life.
Christ again reveals that He is the bread of life. He confirms the miraculous manna which fed men in the desert during the Exodus did not give eternal life. In contrast, Christ confirms that He is the “living bread” which comes down from Heaven and gives eternal life, an allusion to the immortal life given by the Tree of Life in Eden, but which Adam lost due to sin. Christ now stuns the crowd by revealing that the bread men must eat for eternal life is Christ’s own glorified flesh; “the bread I shall give” is a prophetic reverence to His Crucifixion and the perpetual gift of the Eucharist in the Mass.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ reveals His intimacy with God the Father (“has seen the Father”). Omnipotent, Christ has the power to give eternal life and to “raise [men] on the last day.” Divine King, Christ rebukes the rebellious murmuring of the Jews and reveals that all men who wish to be saved must come to Him. Divine Prophet, Christ reveals, as promised by the prophets, He is God who has come to teach men and cryptically refers to His coming Crucifixtion and Resurrection (“give my Flesh”).
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Reflect upon Christ’s mind-boggling revelation that He “has seen” God the Father, who is eternal and infinite.
2) In contrast to Christ’s courageous and blunt rebuke to those who rebelliously murmur against Him, many in the Church today fail to fearlessly speak Christ’s truth, instead preaching a false mercy (and false gospel) which would rather “accompany” than call sinners to repent. During Easter, review the need for Repentance (CCC 541, 674, 1226, 1425-1433, 1889), conduct a deep examen in the fullness of Truth, repent from sin and be forgiven in the glorious Sacrament of Confession.
3) Christ reveals His power to give eternal life to men who eat the “living bread which [comes] down from Heaven.” During Easter, reflect on the awesome Fruits of the Holy Communion (CCC 1391-1401, 1416) and pray for Christ to help you hunger for and receive the Eucharist regularly.