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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Fed By the Body and Blood of Christ

He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.
John 6:55

Being born of Chinese parents, I was not exposed to Christian teaching. Since we lived in the Philippines, my parents were influenced by the Catholic practice of baptizing children as infants. My siblings and I were baptized as children. Yet, despite that, I never practiced my faith even if I went to a Catholic school from Elementary through to High School. My first encounter with Christ was during my third year in High School at a retreat where we adored the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. This experience was a seed planted at that time.
In the last couple of years in university, I was exposed to Scripture. Through that, I got to know of Jesus as he is. I also learned how to pray from the Psalms and also of the power of the Gospel through the writings of Paul.
When I started working, I poured myself to work and was rewarded with a successful career. However, this success did not fill the emptiness I had. The trigger point was when I realized I needed to turn to the Lord. I started learning about the faith by reading Scripture and adoring the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
Since then, these two weapons had been instrumental in my faith. Scripture revealed God to me, as he is. It brought me back to Jesus because I got to know who Jesus is. The Eucharist brought me back to the Catholic Church. I have come to realize, from that experience in third year high school, that the Eucharist is not just bread, that it is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
It is this realization that continues to help me in my faith.
Now that I am a deacon, I have learned how critical it is to my faith to regularly read Scripture and adore the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. This routine has helped me in times of difficulties and suffering. This proves that faith is not a matter of rituals or of works only. But according to Pope Benedict XVI, faith is a relationship with a Person and an event. This Person and event is Jesus, the Word of God made flesh. Scripture is the written Word of God while the Blessed Sacrament is the true presence of Christ. These are the flesh and blood of Christ that we must eat and drink so we can have life.
Lord, feed me your flesh and blood, so I may know you and have eternal life.

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