The bread from heaven

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Welcome to our Bible
Study
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ A
June 22, 2014
In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy
An aid in focusing our homilies and sharing
Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
1st reading: Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14b-16a

Moses said to the people, “2 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. 3 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 man live, but by every word that comes
forth from the mouth of the LORD. 14 Do not forget the
LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of
Egypt, that place of slavery; 15 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 16 and fed
you in the desert with manna, a food unknown to your
fathers.
The focus is on the manna.
1st reading: Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14b-16a
A simple outline!
Testing the people’s fidelity

Moses said to the people, “2 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.
Manna

3 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 man live, but by every word that comes
forth from the mouth of the LORD.
Water and manna

14 Do not forget the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the
land of Egypt, that place of slavery; 15 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 16 and fed you in the desert with manna, a food
unknown to your fathers.
1st reading: Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14b-16a
Testing the people’s fidelity

Moses said to the
people, “2 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.
Manna

3 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
man live, but by every
word that comes forth
from the mouth of the
LORD.
Commentary

Moses reminds the Israelite people of their God.
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Their God is a historical God
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V.2 gives the reason for testing the people by affliction:
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Who gives direction during their journey in the desert
For forty years (long years, one generation) v.2
To find out if they have the intention to keep the
commandments or not.
V.3 specifies the affliction: hunger.
But God does not overkill. He feeds the hungry people
right away with manna (what is it, in Hebrew?). In Greek
mythology, there is a similar food from heaven, called
ambrosia (food of the gods).
V.3 describes the manna as an unknown food, never
known or eaten by Adam and Eve nor by the patriarchs
nor by their fathers in Egypt (450 years before the exodus).
V.3 gives the reason again for the testing: to show that
not by bread alone, but by every word of God, does man
lives.
V.3 does not rule out the material needs of the Israelites,
but they should not stop at satisfying their material needs
only.
Human beings need both material food and spiritual food
(word of God).
.
Water and manna

14 Do not forget the
LORD, your God, who
brought you out of the
land of Egypt, that
place of slavery; 15
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 16 and fed
you in the desert with
manna, a food
unknown to your
fathers.

In v.14, Moses reminds the
Israelites of their God (like in
v.2)


who liberated them from
slavery in Egypt.
who kept them safe as they
traversed the desert full of
threats to their lives (fiery
serpents and scorpions, parched
and dry ground), v.15


who brought water from the
rock
who fed the Israelites with
manna, unknown to their
ancestors. V.16
Reflections on the

st
1
reading
We, Christians, should not shun afflictions (and
sufferings).
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They are God’s ways to test our fidelity and love for
Him.
In building relationships, one must be willing to
stand the test and to suffer inconveniences.
Only after standing the test that we become truly
satisfied, in a miraculous way.
Do you run away from pains?
Do you believe that God takes care of your material
and spiritual needs?
Responsorial Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
12 Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem, praise your God of Zion
13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed
your children within you.
14 He has granted peace in your borders, with the best of wheat he fills
you
15 He sends forth his command to the earth, swiftly runs his word.
19 He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his
ordinances to Israel.
20 He has not done thus for any other nation. His ordinances he has
not made known to them.
Responsorial Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
12 Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem, praise
your God of Zion
13 For he has strengthened the bars of
your gates; he has blessed your children
within you.
14 He has granted peace in your borders,
with the best of wheat he fills you
15 He sends forth his command to the
earth, swiftly runs his word.
19 He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
20 He has not done thus for any other
nation. His ordinances he has not made
known to them.
Commentary

The psalm is classified as hymn of
praise.

In v.12, the psalmist exhorts the
whole city of Jerusalem to praise and
glorify God.

V.13 gives the reason why: he makes
the city so secure and blesses the
children (secures the incoming
generation).
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Vv.14-20 continue enumerating the
reasons why we should praise God:
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Peace in the borders (security)
Best wheat (high quality food)
Law (gives order to the community
Reflections on the Psalm
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God deserves all our praises.
Thanking, glorifying and praising God are all the same act we can
render to him.
We too can make a long list of what God has done for us.
If we are OK now, secure, things are going right and our children
are healthy, it is a sign that God is blessing us. We return to God
by thanking him for these.
God is concerned not only with our personal well-being but also
that of the whole city and the whole nation.
If we don’t feel OK, we should ask God for his intervention.
2nd reading: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a
participation in the blood of Christ? The bread
that we break, is it not a participation in the
body of Christ? 17 Because the loaf of bread is
one, we, though many, are one body, for we all
partake of the one loaf.
The focus is on the eucharist.
2nd reading: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

16 The cup of blessing
that we bless, is it not a
participation in the blood
of Christ? The bread that
we break, is it not a
participation in the body
of Christ? 17 Because
the loaf of bread is one,
we, though many, are
one body, for we all
partake of the one loaf.
Commentary

The cup of blessing is the
wine turned into the blood of
Christ.
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The broken bread is the body
of Christ.
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Our participation in the blood
and body of Christ is our
communion with him. V.16
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V.17 gives particular attention
to the loaf simply because it
can be broken.
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It can become available for
sharing.
Reflections on the 2nd reading
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The reading clearly talks about the body
and blood of Christ in the forms of the cup
of blessing and the broken bread.
Eating and drinking of the body and blood
of Christ is a participation in his life.
To participate in his life is to become
united with one another as one bread.
The focus is on the bread from heaven.
Gospel reading: John 6:51-58

51 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." 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."
A simple outline!
Gospel reading: John 6:51-58
The bread from heaven

51 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 reaction / misunderstanding

52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us
(his) flesh to eat?"
The flesh and the blood

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.
Feeding on Jesus

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.
The bread from heaven

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."
Gospel reading: John 6:51-58
The bread from heaven
Commentary

51 I am the living bread that  The reading is about the eucharist.
came down from heaven;

It is described as the living bread from
whoever eats this bread will
heaven. V.51
live forever; and the bread
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It is a life-giving bread, so different
that I will give is my flesh
from the manna in the desert.
for the life of the world."
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The living bread is none other than
The reaction /
Jesus’ flesh.
misunderstanding
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His flesh is meant to be consumed by

52 The Jews quarreled
believers.
among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us  V.52 indicates the adverse reaction of
the Jews (those who oppose Jesus).
(his) flesh to eat?"
They object to His statement about
The flesh and the blood
the ‘flesh’ to eat. They feel it is

53 Jesus said to them,
impossible. Jesus’ statement is
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
nonsense for them.
unless you eat the flesh of

In v.53, Jesus insists on taking His
the Son of Man and drink
flesh as food. Unless they receive
his blood, you do not have
Him, they cannot have eternal life.
life within you.
Gospel reading: John 6:51-58
The flesh and the blood

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.
Feeding on Jesus

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.
The bread from heaven

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."
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V.54 repeats the necessity of eating
His body and drinking his blood.
In v.55, Jesus claims that He is a true
food, not fake.
V.56 reiterates the need to feed on
Him.
V.57 states that Jesus comes from,
from the living Father. Jesus’ life
comes from the Father and is
sustained by the Father.
People, too, can have the same
experience of life, when they feed on
Jesus.
V.58 goes back to the idea of v.51
(bread coming from heaven).
Those who are nourished by this
bread will not die..
Pointedly, let us take a look at the
reasons why we need to receive the
eucharist.
Gospel reading: John 6:51-58
The bread from heaven

51 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 reaction / misunderstanding

52 The Jews quarreled among themselves,
saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh
to eat?"
The flesh and the blood

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.
Feeding on Jesus

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.
The bread from heaven

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."
Here are the reasons why we
should receive Jesus:
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To live for ever. V.51
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To have life within you. V.53
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To have eternal life, to rise
on the last day. V.54
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To remain in Jesus and
Jesus in us. V.56
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To have life in the future.
V.57
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To live forever. V.58
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Take note of the underlined
phrases.
Reflections on the gospel reading
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The message of the reading is clear.
It is oft repeatedly stated, along with the reasons
behind.
We must receive the body and blood to have life
eternal.
If we don’t, we die.
Do you receive Holy Communion frequently?
Tying the 3 readings and Psalm
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The first reading reminds the people of the manna in
the desert.
The responsorial psalm exhorts us to praise God for
give us the best wheat (food).
The second reading talks about the participation in the
eating and drinking of the body and blood of Jesus
Christ.
The gospel reading talks about the importance of the
eucharist.
How to develop your homily / sharing
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The preacher must develop the meaning of the
eucharist.
The first reading prefigures the eucharist. It talks about
the bread from heaven.
The second reading says that the eucharist is a
communion (participation). We, participants, become
one body in the eucharist.
The third reading says that the eucharist brings us,
believers, to life eternal.
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The church has always emphasized that the
eucharist is the center of our lives.
We center our lives on the eucharist.
The church compels us to do our activities
(secular or religious) in preparation for the
eucharist.
The church teaches us that the eucharist, as we
receive it, should strengthen us in holiness as
we live our lives in this world.
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It is surprising that other religions or, sect (bornagain Christians), who are against the Catholic
Church, do not talk against the eucharist,
although they do not practice it.
We, Catholics, should not take the eucharist for
granted.
At all cost, we must remove all the things that
hinder us from receiving holy communion.
We must be in the state of grace.
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The church teaches that those who are living
immoral lives, those civilly married, or, those
who have committed grave sins, are not
supposed to receive holy communion,
otherwise, they commit sacrilege.
It insults the purpose of the eucharist.
To give due respect to the eucharist, the
communicant must also observe the dress code
specified by the church.
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The eucharist is only good for practicing Catholics, and
not for the violators of the laws of God and of the
Church.
This feast day is a reminder to those who claim to love
Jesus, but who are not receiving holy communion, to
consider once more to remove the hindrances, in order
to be in full communion with Jesus and with the
Church, where they truly belong.
Set good example to your children, nephews and
nieces.
Don’t take them for granted.
Don’t force them to be like you, a hyprocrite.
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We need a renewed catechism or doctrinal instruction
to give importance to the reception of the sacrament
over popular religiosity and devotion.
It is not a true representative of Christianity to allow folk
religion or popular religiosity to have more prominence
in our churches.
Many people go around for the Visita Iglesia on Holy
Thursday, but they disappear when the Mass of the
Lord’s Supper is held.
More people attend the Salubong than the Easter Eve
celebrations.
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The eucharist is first of all, a thanksgiving to God.
(eucharisteo in Greek means I give thanks).
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The body and blood of Jesus is God’s free gift to all of
us, who conform to his will.
The eucharist is a sign of God’s desire and longing to
be with us.
It is this sacrament that truly satisfies our spiritual
hunger and thirst.
Our Context of Sin and Grace
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No respect for the
Mass
Sacrilegious
reception of the
sacrament
Misuse of the
sacrament (pakain sa

manok)
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Stealing of the
sacred hosts
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Reverence to the Blessed
Sacrament
Genuflection
First Communion, Second
Communion, etc.
Adoration of the Blessed
Sacrament
Whole family going to mass
Adoration chapels
Believes in the Real Presence of
Christ in the consecrated host
Suggested Songs
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The Blessed Sacrament by Sebastian Temple
God Gives His People Strength
Sharing
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Lord, I Know
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1ij6D6EyeI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulqjOjYZOns
One Bread One Body
Our Blessing Cup
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