The exchange of gifts creates a strong bond among friends. It brings renewal to the common life of couples. But when giving is one-sided, it means there is no mutual love in the relationship. Jesus has been explaining how He is the Bread of Life given for us; for God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus! Jesus is the Bread of Life in whom is our satisfaction, answers our prayers, and resurrects us to eternal life. Today, Jesus talks about how we too are gifts of the Father to Him. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
“Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.” Those who are truly open to God discover Jesus. In other words, those who accept the mystery of Christ as the Bread of Life are inspired by God. Therefore, we are received by Jesus as gifts of the Father; we received Jesus as Gift of the loving Father. In Jesus is the EXCHANGE, where we are received by God and we receive God. It is from Jesus that our love for God is fed and nourished. While we are strengthened by the Bread of Life, we live as ‘offerings’ to God in Christ Jesus. This is given concrete expression as we give ourselves to one another.
A practical demonstration of this life of mutual self-giving in Christ Jesus is seen in the first reading, where Philip became a gift to the Ethiopian Eunuch, and through baptism, returned him back to God as a gift in Christ Jesus. Our lives ‘flow’ into each other. This channel of inter-personal mingling can only be sanctified and saved from corruption if we are fed and nourished by Jesus, the Bread of Life. He says, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” Amen.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic,
Thursday, April 22, 2021.