My Dear Sisters and Brothers! This Sunday we are concluding the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John we have been listening to over last few weeks. The chapter is called often the Eucharistic chapter as it began with Jesus breaking of bread and fish to feed a big crowd of hungry people and then the chapter showed us our Blessed Lord teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum about the necessity of eating his body and drinking his blood. We who often attend the Mass connect the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel with the Eucharist easily. It can be so obvious to us that we can overlook Jesus’ announcing eternal life for those who eat his body and drink blood. The eternal life which begins here and now so powerfully that even death cannot destroy it.
We believe that because of what happened to Jesus Christ, as the angels announced to the women who came to Jesus’ tomb on Sunday morning: ‘Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here; he has risen.’ That Sunday morning God assured the first disciples of Jesus, and us as well, that Peter was right when he said: ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’
We say that one needs to have faith to receive the Eucharist, but one needs the Eucharist to sustain his or her faith too. We need it particularly when we start thinking about Jesus like some people from the crowd: ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ Our mind, our emotions may revolt at times but look at our Crucified Lord who sacrificed heaven to be with us and who sacrificed his life to save us, could we find anyone more trustworthy? Could he, who sacrificed so much for us, be a deceiver? Could the Father, who raised him from the dead, be playing tricks with? Nothing of the sort. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, speaks the words which are ‘spirit and they are life.’ His words can bring you out of your own grave which is any situation which takes away a reason for living and believing. If Jesus’ words, the words which ‘are spirit and life,’ brought Lazarus out of his grave they can resurrect us here and now for eternal life.
Jesus also wants us to be his missionaries who can speak from their own experience of having been given new life, having been redeemed. You and only you can proclaim what the Lord has done for you, how he raised you to new life, how he has redeemed you. Some of you may have big stories to tell, some may have little stories to tell, but all these stories can give other people a reason for living and believing.
My Dear fellow Christians. As I think about the meeting of that little boy with Pope Francis I also think of other people who still search for some who can hear them up, someone who can see the presence of the Lord in their life, someone who can give them more than cheap and superficial answers, someone who can give them words which ‘are spirit and life,’ the words which give a reason for living and believing. Can you be this person?