Hunger and Thirst for the Eucharist

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Readings for Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter

Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor – Memorial

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Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”  John 6:35

Wouldn’t it be nice if you were never hungry or thirsty again?  What’s fascinating is that Jesus uses these very natural human experiences to teach us about Himself.  He uses natural hunger and thirst to teach us that we long to be satisfied spiritually.  And there is only one way to satiate these spiritual longings…through Him.

It is a good spiritual practice to reflect upon your natural longings as an analogy for your spiritual longings.  Naturally speaking, we regularly get hungry and thirsty.  We eat and drink, but several hours later we hunger and thirst again.  This is a cycle we cannot avoid.  Our body continually craves food and drink. 

The same is true on a spiritual level.  We cannot pray once and satisfy our spiritual longings forever.  We cannot simply believe in Jesus and then be satisfied forever.  Why?  Because prayer and unity with Jesus is something that must take place daily throughout your day.

The Eucharist offers insights into this hunger and thirst in that it provides us with our “daily” food.  It is a gift that we must daily seek.  Some of the Sacraments are given to us only once (Baptism and Confirmation).  But the Eucharist is a gift that we must continually consume and long for.  The fact that we must continually go to Mass and receive the Eucharist tells us that our Christian life is not something that can be fulfilled by one definitive decision.  Rather, it’s something that needs daily nourishment and fulfillment.

What do you do to satisfy this Christian longing each and every day?  Perhaps you cannot attend Mass every day, but do you seek to fulfill your Christian desire for Christ each and every day?  Do you seek Him who is the Bread of Life every day?  Do you seek to satiate your thirst with Christ each and every day?

Loving Jesus and following Him is a decision that must be renewed not only each day, it must also be renewed throughout your day.  It must be renewed as often as you become physically hungry and thirsty.

Reflect, today, upon these natural longings you have for food and drink to continually remind yourself of your much deeper spiritual longing for Christ.  Praying to Him, listening to Him and receiving Him into your soul is the food that satisfies like nothing else.  Jesus is the true Bread of Life and your true Spiritual Drink.  He is what you are made for.  Let Him satisfy your deepest desires in life!

Lord, I do long for You.  I long to be satisfied.  Help me to turn to You at all times and in all things.  Help me to always remember that You are what I need and You alone satisfy.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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