Thought of the day
Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

Our Shepherd gives himself as our food

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church 
Homilies on Saint Matthew's Gospel, no.82 ; PG 87, 737
Our Shepherd gives himself as our  food

“Who can tell the mighty deeds of the Lord or proclaim all his praises?” (Ps 106[105],2). What shepherd has ever fed his sheep with his own body? But what am I saying? A shepherd? Mothers often entrust their infants to a nurse from their birth on. Jesus Christ, however, cannot agree to this for his sheep. He feeds us himself with his own blood and so makes us into one body with himself.

Consider, my brethren, that Christ was born of our own human substance. Are you going to say, then: What does that matter? It doesn't affect everyone else! Pardon me, my brother, it is of great profit to all of them. If he became man, if he came to take on our human nature, then that affects the salvation of all men. And if he came on behalf of all then he also came on behalf of each one in particular. Perhaps you will say: So how is it that everyone hasn't received the fruit they ought to be gaining from this coming? Don't blame Jesus who chose this means for the salvation of all; the fault lies with those who reject this blessing. For Jesus Christ unites himself to each of the faithful in the eucharist. He gives them rebirth, feeds them with himself, does not abandon them to others and, thus, convinces them yet again that he has truly taken our flesh.

Source: © 2001-2014
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