Sunday Devotional: ‘whoever eats this bread will live forever’

John 6:51-58

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, when we remember and celebrate the new Covenant that our Lord made with His Body and Blood, with all who believe in Him.

1 Corinthians 11:23-25

[T]he Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Three Sundays ago, the universal Church remembered our Lord Jesus Christ’s Ascension, when He left this mortal world, not to return until the End Days. In leaving, our Lord bade a last farewell to His faithful disciples and, knowing full well how bereft they would be, He made sure we are not abandoned — that although “the world will not see me anymore . . . I will not leave you as orphans” (John 14:19, 18).

Jesus made two promises to ensure we would not be left “as orphans”:

(1) The Father will send the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Triune Godhead:

“And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another advocate
to help you and be with you forever —
the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept Him,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.
But you know Him,
for He lives with you
and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

(2) We will have His Body and Blood:

“I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

How thoughtful and loving our Lord is!

Our Lord said: “This is my body that is for you.”

Do we doubt His words?

Have you heard of the Lanciano Eucharistic miracle?

18 years ago, knowing that her degenerative spine disease and severe osteoarthritis may someday lead to paralysis, I took FOTM‘s Joan on a pilgrimage to Italy.

Among the places we visited were the Sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel in Mount Gargano and the Church of San Francesco in Lanciano. In the latter was a glass case containing a brownish substance.

Church of San Francesco, Lanciano, aka Shrine of the Eucharistic Miracle

As described by TheRealPresence.org, during the middle of the eighth century, a Basilian monk doubted the Real Presence in the Eucharist — that at consecration, bread and wine become Christ’s true body and true blood.

The doubting monk was celebrating Mass one day. As he intoned the words of consecration, “suddenly the monk saw bread turn into Flesh and the wine into Blood,” according to documents at the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle in Lanciano, Italy.

Today, more than 12 centuries after the Lanciano miracle, the transformed host and wine are preserved still, despite being exposed to atmospheric and biological agents:

  • The Host-Flesh is light brown and appears rose-colored when lit from the back.
  • The Blood is coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size, of an earthy color resembling the yellow of ochre.

Scientific investigations of Lanciano were conducted since 1575, most notably in 1970-’71 and taken up again partly in 1981, by Dr. Odoardo Linoli, head of the clinical analysis laboratory and of pathological anatomy at Arezzo Hospital, and Dr. Ruggero Bertelli, professor of anatomy at the University of Siena.

Linoli and Bertelli came to the following conclusions:

  • The flesh is real human flesh, the blood is real human blood.
  • The flesh is heart tissue — of the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and the left cardiac ventricle.
  • The flesh and blood have the blood-type AB, which is the same blood-type found on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium or Oviedo Cloth — the piece of cloth that is believed to have covered Jesus’ head after the crucifixion.
  • In the blood were found proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of fresh human blood, as well as the minerals chloride, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.

According to “The True Presence,” in 1973, the UN World Health Organization’s board of governors appointed a scientific commission to investigate Lanciano. After 500 examinations, the scientists verified the 1971 findings and declared the tissue to be human.

There have been other Eucharistic miracles elsewhere since Lanciano. See here, here, and especially the website “The Eucharistic Miracles of the World” that was the work of a devout Italian boy named Carlo Acutis before he died from a brain tumor in 2006 at the tender age of 15.

To conclude, Christ is with us through His Body and Blood and in the Holy Spirit, which makes it all the more terrible and reprehensible that state governments, ostensibly to “contain” the COVID-19 “pandemic,” have barred Catholics and other Christians from attending church service, including the receiving of the Holy Eucharist, which is life itself.

Tell our Lord your troubles and fears.

And tell Him, often and always, that you love Him with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.

Jesus, I love You. ❤️

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Steven Broiles
4 months ago

I am happy to report that I was able to make Mass and receive yesterday. I had to pick up my car from the repair shop in Bayside. Then I noticed I had enough time to drive out to Manhasset in Nassau County. I went to St. Mary’s there, on Northern Blvd., and I was pleasantly surprised that Mass was scheduled! (Masses in the New York and Rockville Centre Dioceses are still suspended, but for some reason, Mass at this Church was on!) The priest gave a general absolution to the approximately 50 of us present, and Eucharist was distributed… Read more »

chemtrailssuck
4 months ago

Dr. E, thank you so much for this absolutely fascinating article…I did not know about the flesh and blood miracle and that it’s the same blood type from the Shroud! My earthly father passed away yesterday, and the quote you wrote jumped out at me, as I was saying to someone yesterday, “Well now I’m sort of an orphan!” :   “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)   Thank you Dr. E for your wonderful beautiful post this Sunday! May the Lord be with you always! You make my day brighter, thank you.… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by chemtrailssuck
DCG
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DCG
4 months ago
Reply to  chemtrailssuck

Sorry to hear about your father. Prayers for your family.

Steven Broiles
4 months ago
Reply to  chemtrailssuck

I’m sorry for your loss, Chem. Prayers.