Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook


Father Muench Says...

Hearing about the Eucharist

July 28, 2021

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today begins a time for the consideration of the very special sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. You will hear a great deal about the Eucharist in the next few weeks, especially at Church. During the month of August, the Gospel readings at Mass will be from the same chapter of St. John’s Gospel – the sixth Chapter of John’s Gospel.

This chapter is rather unique. It contains a discourse in which Jesus answers questions from the people concerning the Bread of Life, the Eucharist. Jesus declares his concern and readiness to satisfy the hunger of those in need. Jesus wants to save us by feeding the hungry and by bring the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist to the spiritually hungry.

The synoptic Gospels –Matthew, Mark, and Luke – describe for us the Last Supper and show us the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the ordination of the apostles as the new priests who will bring the Eucharist to all God’s people. The Gospel of John dedicates a complete chapter of his Gospel, John 6, to an intensive teaching on the Blessed Eucharist, the Bread of Life.

This chapter, John 6, begins with the story of Jesus who feeds 5,000 people with only five barley loaves and two fish. When we read of this miracle, we recognize something very Eucharistic – Jesus takes the loaves, gave thanks and distributes them to the people. We can clearly see what happens every time we celebrate the Eucharist at Mass.

Jesus is teaching a vast crowd of people. The Lord recognizes that they have become hungry. He calls upon his apostles to assist him in feeding the people. Jesus miraculously feeds them with this small amount of food.

Jesus cares and wants to solve our hunger. It is all about hunger. The compassionate Jesus realized the needs of his people. Jesus knows me; Jesus knows his disciples of all time. He recognizes our need for strength and the nourishment of the bread of heaven. The Lord wants to help those in need, and he is generous with us all. We experience that generosity every time we sit down to eat and each time we come to the altar of the Lord for Holy Communion. This generosity of the Lord must make us personally generous towards those who are less fortunate.

We are Christians. Our example is always our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Jesus also reminds us that the heart and spirit will suffer hunger. In my study this week, I was helped to understand that there are many other ways to consider the hunger that we may suffer. The compassionate Jesus cares for us in so many ways, especially spiritually through the Blessed Eucharist, as the Lord reaches out to satisfy all our hungers.

We may hunger for a feeling of importance. We all want to matter to another person. We hunger for acceptance. We hunger for relationships. We hunger for motivation. We hunger for faith and beliefs to guide us. We hunger for hope and with the Lord we want to see good things in our future. We hunger for love. When this is satisfied, most of our other hungers would disappear.

The food Jesus gives sustains life permanently. Jesus comes with the promise: “He who eats the bread that I give will live forever.” There is another, more important hunger. It is the hunger for eternal life. This is the hunger for God. This experience of hunger is much like a blessing, as we anxiously learn to yearn and hunger for the love and care of our Savior. We hunger for the Lord’s coming to us in the Blessed Eucharist.

The Lord want to be part of our lives. The Lord wants to be with us always. When we receive Our Savior in Holy Communion, the Lord stays with us into the day with its challenges and opportunities. Truly, Our Lord gives us the power – power to do the right thing, to say the right thing – to make our world a better place.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.