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Catholic Reflections Daily: Today’s Mass readings Acts 9:1-20; John 6:52-59. Gospel Theme of the day is Struck and stuck!
Table of Contents
Catholic Daily Readings For Today
1 Now Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains. 3 On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. 9 For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.
10 There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is there praying, 12 and [in a vision] he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay [his] hands on him, that he may regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias replied, “Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call upon your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites, 16 and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.” 17 So Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized, 19 and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.
He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus, 20 and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
Psalm 117:1bc, 2
Response: Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?” 53 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. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57 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. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” 59 These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Powerful Catholic Reflections Daily
Title: Struck and stuck!
Statement: When God enters our life, He touches and transforms us, making us completely different from our previous selves.
Jesus’ discourse “I am the bread of life” sparked confusion and disagreement, but Jesus did not feel compelled to clarify. He seemed to relish in their attempts to understand and continued to assert that he was the bread of life. Despite this, he purposely added to the vagueness and lack of clarity.
He confidently stated that he was the bread of life, a bread that was distinct from any other. He claimed it was imperishable and not like the miraculous Manna mentioned in the Old Testament. However, he did not give a clear explanation of what exactly this bread was.
Jesus was aware that the Jews did not understand what he meant by “Eat my flesh and drink my blood,” interpreting it in purely physical and literal terms. Surprisingly, he did not clarify the meaning of his statement.
This reveals that divine mysteries can only be understood through God’s grace. We must be open and humble to be taught by God and to look beyond the material and lower realms.
There are two possible interpretations of “Eating the flesh and drinking the blood”: metaphorical and sacramental. Metaphorically, it symbolizes the assimilation of Jesus’ entire being into oneself, a sense of total communion with him.
Thus, when Jesus says “Eat my flesh and drink my blood,” he may be referring to a complete assimilation into him, symbolizing total communion with him.
Sacramentally, “eating flesh and drinking blood” refers to the holy Eucharist, which is not merely symbolic, but is real, substantial, and mystical. We cannot explain the concept of transubstantiation, but it is considered to be a real transformation.
The ultimate purpose and effect of encountering and communing with the Lord is conversion and transformation. Those who encounter and commune with the Lord and assimilate his spirit are radically transformed.
This is evident in the case of Paul, who encountered the risen Lord, conversed with him, and was transformed.
Call to Action: Our relationship with the Lord should not be superficial or mechanical, but one of intimate communion that transforms our entire lives.