Readings for Sunday, June 11, 2023
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
Solennità tal-Ġisem u d-Demm Imqaddes ta’ Kristu
Reading 1 DEUTERONOMY 8:2-3, 14b-16a
Moses said to the people: "Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God, has directed all your journeying in the desert, so as to test you by affliction and find out whether or not it was your intention to keep his commandments. He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna, a food unknown to you and your fathers, in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD. "Do not forget the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery;who guided you through the vast and terrible desert with its saraph serpents and scorpions, its parched and waterless ground; who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock and fed you in the desert with manna, a food unknown to your fathers."
Qari 1 mill-Ktieb tad-Dewteronomju 8:2-3,14b-16a
F’dak iż-żmien, Mosè kellem lill-poplu u qal: “Ftakar fil-mixja kollha li mexxiek il-Mulej, Alla tiegħek, matul dawn l-erbgħin sena fid-deżert, biex iċekknek u jġarrbek, ħalli jkun jaf x’għandek f’qalbek, jekk tridx toqgħod għall-kmandamenti tiegħu jew le. Huwa ċekknek, ried li tbati l-ġuħ, imbagħad temgħek il-manna, li la int u lanqas missirijietek ma kontu qatt tafu biha, biex jurik li mhux bil-ħobż biss jgħix il-bniedem, imma b’dak kollu li joħroġ minn fomm il-Mulej, b’dan jgħix il-bniedem. Qis li ma titkabbarx qalbek u tinsa l-Mulej, Alla tiegħek, li ħarġek mill-art tal-Eġittu, mill-art tal-jasar. Hu li mexxiek fid-deżert kbir u jwaħħax, mimli sriep velenużi u skorpjuni, art niexfa bla ilma xejn, li ħariġlek l-ilma mill-blata taż-żnied, li temgħek il-manna fid-deżert, li missirijietek ma kienu jafu biha xejn”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
Responsorial Psalm PSALM 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Salm Responsorjali Salm 146(147):12-13,14-15,19-20
℟. (12a): Sebbaħ, Ġerusalemm, lill-Mulej.
Hu jsaħħaħ l-istaneg tal-bibien tiegħek,
u jbierek ġewwa fik lil uliedek.
Hu jqiegħed fis-sliem it-trufijiet ta’ artek,
u lilek bl-aħjar qamħ ixebbgħek.
Hu jibgħat fuq l-art il-kmand tiegħu;
bil-ħeffa tiġri l-kelma tiegħu. ℟.
Hu jxandar kelmtu lil Ġakobb,
il-liġijiet u d-digrieti tiegħu lil Iżrael.
Ma għamel hekk ma’ ebda poplu;
lil ħadd ma għarraf id-digrieti tiegħu. ℟.
Reading 2 1 CORINTHIANAS 10:16-17
The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one,
we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
Qari 2 mill-Ewwel Ittra lill-Korintin 10:16-17
Ħuti, il-kalċi mbierek li fuqu ngħidu l-barka mhuwiex għaqda mad-demm ta’ Kristu? U l-ħobż li naqsmu mhuwiex għaqda mal-ġisem ta’ Kristu? Għax la l-ħobża hi waħda, aħna, li aħna ħafna, aħna ġisem wieħed; ilkoll kemm aħna nieħdu sehem minn ħobża waħda. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
Lo! the angel's food is given
To the pilgrim who has striven;
see the children's bread from heaven,
which on dogs may not be spent.
Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
Isaac bound, a victim willing,
Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,
manna to the fathers sent.
Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see.
You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow,
Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
Where the heav'nly feast you show,
Fellow heirs and guests to be.
* * * SEKWENZA
Dan ħobż l-anġli, magħmul ikel
għall-bnedmin fit-triq tal-ħajja,
ikel bnin għall-ulied kollha,
li m’għandux fix-xejn jintrema.
Bi xbihat kien ilu mħabbar,
f’dik l-offerta ta’ Iżakk,
fil-ħaruf li nqatel fl-Għid,
u fil-manna tad-deżert.
Int ragħaj tajjeb, ħobż tassew,
Ġesù tagħna, ħenn għalina;
Int itmagħna u ħarisna:
Inti lilna l-ġid urina
fl-art imbierka tal-ħajjin.
Int li taf u tista’ kollox,
li titmagħna hawn f’dil-ħajja,
hemm agħmilna lkoll imsieħba,
f’għaqda waħda lkoll werrieta
Gospel 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."
Evanġelju Qari skond San Ġwann 6:51-58
F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù qal lin-nies: “Jiena hu l-ħobż il-ħaj, li niżel mis-sema. Jekk xi ħadd jiekol minn dan il-ħobż jgħix għal dejjem. U l-ħobż li jiena nagħti huwa ġismi għall-ħajja tad-dinja”. Fuq hekk il-Lhud tlewmu bejniethom, u bdew jgħidu: “Kif jista’ dan jagħtina ġismu biex nikluh?”. Ġesù mela qalilhom: “Tassew, tassew ngħidilkom, jekk ma tiklux il-ġisem ta’ Bin il-bniedem u ma tixorbux demmu, ma jkollkomx il-ħajja fikom. Min jiekol ġismi u jixrob demmi għandu l-ħajja ta’ dejjem, u jiena nqajmu mill-imwiet fl-aħħar jum. Għax ġismi huwa tassew ikel, u demmi hu tassew xorb. Min jiekol ġismi u jixrob demmi jibqa’ fija u jiena fih. Bħalma bagħatni l-Missier, li hu ħaj, u jiena ngħix b’Missieri, hekk ukoll min jiekol lili, hu wkoll jgħix bija. Dan huwa l-ħobż li niżel mis-sema; mhuwiex bħal dak li kielu missirjietkom u mietu; min jiekol dan il-ħobż jgħix għal dejjem”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
A Reflection on Sunday's Readings by Fr. Tommy Lane
Meet Jesus in His Real Presence in the Eucharist
We all want to meet Jesus. We want to have a closer friendship with Jesus. We want to have more of Jesus in our lives. We have come to the right place: the Eucharist. The best place to meet Jesus is in the Eucharist. If you want to be close Jesus, he tells us how in the Gospel today: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." (John 6:56)
Our most intimate moment with Jesus is when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion. We receive Jesus into our very bodies. We could not be closer with Jesus. We are one. "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." (John 6:56) It reminds me of what we read in Genesis about man and woman becoming one in marriage: when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, we are no longer two but one, and we and Jesus are intimately united.
Jesus gave himself for you on Calvary and gives himself for you again in Holy Communion. In today’s Gospel we heard Jesus say "the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." (John 6:51)
This is really the same as what Jesus will say later during the Last Supper, "This is my body, which will be given for you". (Luke 22:19).
In Sunday’s passage Jesus says, "the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." (John 6:51) and during the Last Supper Jesus will say "This is my body, which will be given for you". (Luke 22:19).
Jesus gave up his body for you on Calvary and gives up his body for you in every Mass so that you may receive him in Holy Communion. It is the one sacrifice on Calvary extended through time to us at Mass. Some misunderstand and think Catholics say Jesus is sacrificed again during every Mass. No, it is the one sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary which is extended through time to us in every Mass and so truly Jesus can say to you "the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." (John 6:51)
"This is my body, which will be given for you" (Luke 22:19), so you and Jesus can enjoy intimacy together.
"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." (John 6:56) In the Gospel passage today, Jesus is really explaining what takes place during the Last Supper and every Mass. It is another take on the Last Supper, looking at the Last Supper from another angle so that we get a fuller understanding.
But are we going too far in saying that bread really becomes the Body of Jesus? Did Jesus intend us to understand that he was speaking only in symbols and metaphors and that we should not take him literally? Or did Jesus really intend us to understand that bread becomes the Body of Jesus and wine becomes the Blood of Jesus, that transubstantiation takes place during the consecration at Mass?
Those who were listening to Jesus knew he was not talking in symbols; they started arguing afterwards about what he had just said, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?” (John 6:52) It was clear to them that Jesus was talking about his flesh as bread, and it would become clear for his listeners later that he really did mean that the bread of the Eucharist becomes his flesh. Why was there no room for confusion?
We have no idea how horrifying it would have been for Jesus’ Jewish listeners to hear him talking of consuming blood. Many times the Old Testament forbade consuming blood (Lev 3:17; 7:26; 19:26) because life was in the blood (Lev 17:14). If someone consumed blood, he was to be excommunicated from the Jewish people (Lev 17:10,14). For Jesus’ listeners to hear him talking of consuming blood, it would have been so horrifying that they could not make the mistake of thinking that he was talking only in symbols. Jesus is leading his listeners from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.
In the Old Covenant, the supreme dwelling place of God on earth was in the temple in Jerusalem, but in the New Covenant God is with us in Jesus anytime we celebrate the Eucharist and Jesus gives himself to us in the bread and wine changed into his Body and Blood during Mass. In the Old Covenant, God fed his people with manna when they were wandering in the desert as we heard in our first reading (Deut 8), but in the New Covenant Jesus feeds us with his own Body and Blood through his Real Presence in the Eucharist.
When we read what Jesus said in the original language of the Gospel, Greek, we see that what Jesus said was very strong. In the original language, Jesus didn’t just say “eat my flesh” (φαγειν) but something much stronger like “chew on my flesh” or “gnaw on my flesh” or “crunch my flesh with your teeth.” (τρώγειν) So in the original language of the Gospel, the last line of today’s passage reads something like this: your ancestors ate (ἒφαγον) the bread that came down from heaven and died but whoever gnaws and crunches (τρώγειν) on this bread will live forever. Reading the Gospel in its original language leaves no room for confusion, Jesus really did intend us to understand that the bread of the Eucharist is his flesh. Jesus really is present in the Eucharist; the Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus.
We all want to meet Jesus. We want to have a closer friendship with Jesus. We want to have more of Jesus in our lives. We have come to the right place: the Eucharist. The best place to meet Jesus is in the Eucharist. Each time before we receive Jesus in the Eucharist we want to be as pure as possible. If you want to be close with Jesus he tells us how: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." (John 6:56)
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