The surprising and wonderful announcement made by Jesus


 I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the desert and died. This is the bread that comes down from Heaven so that if anyone eats of it he will not die1. This is the surprising and marvelous announcement made by Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum, which we read today in the Gospel of the Mass. The Lord continues: I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.

Jesus reveals the great mystery of the Holy Eucharist. His words are of such great realism that they exclude any other interpretation. Without faith, these words have no meaning. On the contrary, once the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is accepted by faith, the revelation of Jesus becomes clear and unequivocal, and shows us the infinite love that God has for us.

Adoro te devotete, latens deitas, quae sub his figuris vere latitas: I adore you with devotion, hidden God, truly hidden beneath these appearances, we say with that hymn to the Holy Eucharist composed by St. Thomas and for centuries adopted by the liturgy of the Church. It is an expression of faith and piety, which can serve us to manifest our love, because it constitutes a summary of the main points of Catholic doctrine on this sacred Mystery.

I adore you with devotion, hidden God..., we repeat in the intimacy of our heart, slowly, with faith, hope and love. Those who were in the synagogue that day understood the proper and realistic meaning of the Lord's words; if they had understood them in a symbolic or figurative sense, it would not have caused them the strangeness and confusion that St. John describes below, and it would not have been an occasion for many to leave him that day. This teaching is hard, who can listen to it," they say as they leave. It is hard - it is still hard - for those who are not well disposed, for those who do not admit without a shadow of doubt that Jesus of Nazareth, God, who became man, communicates himself in this way to men out of love. I adore you, hidden God, we say to him in our prayer, manifesting our love, our gratitude and the humble assent with which we obey him. It is an indispensable attitude to approach this mystery of Love.

Tibi se cor meum totum subiicit, quia te contemplans totum deficit: to you my heart submits itself completely and surrenders totally in contemplating you. We feel the need to repeat this many times to the Lord, because there are many unbelievers. He also asks us, all of us who want to follow the Lord very closely: Do you also want to leave? And seeing the disorientation and confusion in which so many Christians walk, separated from the trunk of faith, whose souls are numb to the supernatural, reaffirms our love: Tibi se cor meum totum subiicit.... Our faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist must be very firm: "we believe that, as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper became his Body and Blood, which were immediately to be offered for us on the Cross, so also the bread and wine consecrated by the priest become the Body and Blood of Christ, gloriously seated in Heaven, and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under the appearance of those elements, which continue to appear to our senses in the same way as before, is true, real and substantial. 

Meditación diaria