25th April - Jesus the Bread of Life Pt 2

Jesus goes further than calling us to Faith in him. He actually promises something unbelievable to many. He promises that he will give us himself in another way. “….and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world” (vs51).  “For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink” (vs55).

In simple words his flesh and blood means that what Jesus was promising and offering was truly himself -  not just in a figurative or symbolical way.

When people protested, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (vs52)  Jesus doesn’t back down. Rather he emphasises that he means to give us himself in this way. ‘Jesus replied, “I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (Vs53-54).

We really need Faith to accept this as Peter did, “You have the message of eternal life, and we believe…” (vs68).

So spend some time in prayer relishing how we now have our Risen Lord in this simple and mysterious other way or form of the Eucharist. Remember also as we savour the Word of God, this too is Jesus, who is the Bread of Life for us and who feeds us in this way as well.

18th April -  Jesus the Bread of Life Pt 1
In the Third week of Easter the Church always uses Chapter 6 of St John’s Gospel at the week day Masses. The Church, I believe, uses this Gospel on purpose to point out to us that here is a very special way in which we meet our Risen Lord. Over the next four weeks then I encourage you to read reflectively this special and long chapter of St John’s Gospel. I will also highlight a point or two from it.

Firstly you will notice there is much reference to ‘manna’. Apart from the frequent use of the word itself, the miracle of the loaves and fishes early in the chapter was indeed ‘manna from heaven’ for those thousands of hungry people.

Manna in the Old Testament was ‘The bread of life’ for the Jewish people wandering the desert. It was a floury substance which appeared overnight and which they gathered each day and made into bread for their sustenance - and for quite a period of their long journey.

Jesus says “I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never be hungry…” (vs35).

The way to connect to Jesus so that he can be life-giving food for us is through Faith. “….you must believe in the one He has sent” (vs30). “….he who believes in me will never thirst” (vs35).

Spend some time in prayer letting those words of Jesus, our Risen Lord, sink in more deeply. Prayer will certainly help our Faith grow and our appreciation of Jesus as the ‘Bread of Life’ for us and our world.

11th April - Our Risen Lord Within
Each year, especially at Easter and throughout Eastertide, I believe we get special Grace to grow in Faith - not only in the fact that Jesus is risen and alive and guarantees our Resurrection when we die, but also and very importantly, that our Risen Lord lives within us.

As we sleep, as we work, and as we pray or rest, our Risen Lord within is moment by moment part of all that.

When we are with people who believe this such as when we are in church, our Faith grows.

Well beyond this though, I believe that Jesus is present in and part of everyone’s life - both through his Incarnation and Resurrection.

I would like to suggest something we could do this coming week. Besides looking within ourselves to acknowledge the presence of our Risen Lord - look to all the people around us, especially where there is good, or need, or suffering, or hurt, or worry. See in them that same Risen Lord.

Whether looking within or beyond ourselves, we could use Thomas the Apostle’s wonderful act of Faith, quietly whispering it in our hearts, ‘My Lord and My God’. Jn20:28

4th April - The Annunciation of the Lord
Today is the Feast of the Annunciation - the day we celebrate God’s Son being conceived by Mary, taking flesh and living among us.

Normally it is celebrated on the 25th of March, however it was transferred until today because the actual date this year fell during Holy Week.

Easter of course is the follow up to the Incarnation. This wonderful God who became one of us and one with us, then went on to do His special work of redeeming the world by suffering, dying and rising from the dead. Our Risen Lord not only conquered sin and death by rising and then returning to the Father, but is also now living with us - in us.

The main way we celebrate the wonderful reality of our redemption is of course in our Liturgy. A beautiful devotional way as well, together with the Angelus, is to pray the Regina Coeli daily from now until Pentecost.

I like to begin my day of prayer with the Angelus, or at this time, the Regina Coeli. It focuses me for the day on the fact that our God is Incarnate or Emmanuel, which means God-is-with-us. Now in Eastertide there is the further reminder that this God-with-us, is also our Risen Lord.

I quote this simple prayer for those who may not have it but wish to pray it in these days of Eastertide.


Queen of heaven, rejoice! Alleluia.
For he whom you did merit to bear, Alleluia,
Has risen as he said, Alleluia.
Pray for us to God. Alleluia.

V.         Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia.

R.         For the Lord has risen indeed, Alleluia.

Let us pray:

God our Father,
you give joy to the world by the resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Through the prayers of his mother, the Virgin Mary, bring us to the happiness of eternal life. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.