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3rd Week of Easter
Sing praise to our God,
all you who fear God, both small and great,
for now salvation and strength have come,
and the power of his Christ, alleluia. Rev 19:5; 12:10
O God, who open wide the gates of the heavenly Kingdom
to those reborn of water and the Holy Spirit,
Daily Meditation: John 6:30-35
I am the bread of life. (John 6:35)
This past year has been difficult for many reasons, but one of the hardest things for Catholics has been our limited ability to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. At the beginning of the pandemic, many churches closed, and people had to wait quite a while before public Masses were celebrated again. Some people with health conditions may still be unable to attend Mass.
But Jesus is the Bread of Life, and we rely on his presence in the Eucharist to nourish us and help us walk the path of sainthood. Jesus promised to fill our deepest hunger and thirst (John 6:35), so it can feel like a tremendous loss when we must go without this sacrament. But let’s look for some of the positive things that God may have brought out of our common trial.
First, it’s human nature to begin to take for granted something that is readily available to us. So in being deprived of Communion for a time, we may have realized what a truly amazing gift it is. We may have especially missed it as we were trying to adjust to the “new normal” of the pandemic. Perhaps going forward, we may desire to receive the Eucharist more frequently than we did before.
Second, we may have sought out God’s presence in other ways. Perhaps we have begun spending more time in Scripture or in personal prayer. Maybe we were able to go to Adoration, even if it was only by gazing on the Blessed Sacrament through a window. Or we may have felt closer to Jesus as we offered a prayer of spiritual communion.
Finally, we may have grown in our solidarity with brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. Most of us have always had frequent access to the Eucharist, but in many countries, Catholics have to wait weeks or even months to receive it. So in going without Communion for a time, we could draw closer to believers in remote regions or where there are few priests.
Whatever difficulty you face, you can count on Jesus to redeem it; he knows how to bring good out of evil. You can also count on Jesus, the Bread of Life, to be with you in your heart. Even when you can’t come to him, he will come to you!
“Father, thank you for the great gift of Jesus in the Eucharist!”
Psalm 31:3-4, 6-8, 17, 21
OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19
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