Monday, August 24, 2020

Understanding is the reward of faith

 Today is the one year mark since the funeral for my Dad. As we all struggle in our own way to understand why he was taken from us last year, I ran across words of St. Augustine - “Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand”

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Day of Fasting, Prayer and Reparation Dec. 6

Four exorcists have requested and are urging all faithful Catholic Christians to offer a day of fasting, prayer and reparation on December 6, 2019.  The reason for this special day of prayer and fasting is to assist these anonymous exorcists in driving out any diabolic influences within the Church that has been gained by recent events such as the Pachamama ordeal.  The Pachamama, a goddess worshiped by indigenous Andeans, were reportedly worshiped in two Vatican churches, including St. Peters Basilica.  This directly went against the First Commandment: "Thou Shall Not Have Any False Gods Before Me."

Idol worship has always been taught against and fought against during the 2,000 plus year history of the Catholic Church.

The exorcists are asking all Catholics to join together and participate by doing the following for the intention of driving out diabolic influences in the Church:

1) Pray the Rosary;

2) Take on some form of penance, such as fasting, abstinence and other forms or mortification;

3) Offer prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In addition one can make a Holy Hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament, attend Mass that day, and offering the merits of the Mass for this specific intention.

Here are a couple prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thy altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.

Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism; refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and Honor forever. Amen. 

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

O sweet Jesus, Whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thy altar eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy Law. 

We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holidays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints.

We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded. 

Would, O divine Jesus, we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy divine honor, the satisfaction Thou didst once make to Thy eternal Father on the cross and which Thou dost continue to renews daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent other from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may one day come to that happy home, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

Listen to Father Richard Heilman, Doug Barry, and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers in this podcast episode of The Grace Force Podcast:

Friday, April 12, 2019

Podcast 31 - Pope Benedict XVI and Sexual Abuse in the Church

 Apple Podcasts   Google Podcasts    Spotify

    What does Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have to say about the scandal of sexual abuse that has rocked the Catholic Church?

    Pope Benedict XVI just published a 6,000-word essay on April 10, 2019, where he talks about the sexual abuse scandal in the Church and how it relates to the wider social context. He works to show us what event happened in the 1960s that has changed the culture of the world and the Church in unprecedented ways.

    This is a must read for everyone, Catholic or not. You can get the english version of Pope Benedict XVI's essay that the Catholic News Agency made available so you can read this very important piece of work.

    You should also listen to the Dr. Taylor Marshall Catholic Show podcast which will be coming out later today, April 11. Dr. Marshall and Tim Gordon will discuss the letter in depth and what it means for the Church and for all of us. 

    Patrick Madrid devoted the majority of his three-hour radio show on Relevant Radio Thursday morning to reading and talking about Pope Benedict's letter. You can listen to the archive of the show on Relevant Radio or by listening to the podcast of the show.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Podcast 30 - The Rules for Receiving Holy Communion

 Apple Podcasts   Google Podcasts    Spotify

The Proper Ways to Prepare for Holy Communion

     “You seek Me because you have eaten of the loaves and have been filled. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for that which endures unto life everlasting. The bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world.”

    Welcome to another lesson of All About My Catholic Faith. Did your life change after you listened to last week’s lesson. Don’t worry if it hasn’t changed yet, because I am praying for you every day.

    Christopher, how are you today?

    Good, thanks. I would like you to talk a little about the rules or ways we should be receiving Communion.

    Great, I will. There are definitely some rules that we need to follow, but I hope you’ll see that they really make a lot of sense and are there to really guide us.

    To start with, Holy Communion is when we receive Jesus in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Remember from a couple lessons ago, that because we offer our sacrifice out of love to God, he’s very pleased and gladly accepts our sacrifice. Then, he invites us to eat as a guest at his table. Basically, Communion is when all of us are at God’s table sharing the Flesh and Blood of Christ in order to feed our souls.

    There are just a few rules that we need to follow in order to participate in this great feast at God’s table. First of all, for us to receive Holy Communion in a worthy manner, we need to not have any mortal sin in our life, we need to be receiving with the right intention, and we need to obey the Church’s law about fasting before Holy Communion.

    So what if someone does receive communion in a state of mortal sin?

    Well, if someone knows they are in a state of mortal sin and they still go to Holy Communion and receive the Eucharist then they will receive the body and blood of Jesus, but they will not receive all The Graces that God wants them to have, and they will actually commit another mortal sin that's called sacrilege.

    Use an analogy like this.  If you are healthy then you can eat just about anything that you like and you will receive all the benefits of eating that food.  In the same way, if your soul is healthy without any sin, then you can nourish your soul completely with all the grace that you can receive at Communion when you eat the flesh of Jesus in the Eucharist.  If you're sick with a cold or the flu, you can still eat but it may be a lot harder for you to eat and to keep your food down, so the food's not really benefiting you as much as it would as if you were healthy.  And again in the same way if your soul is sick because you have some venial sins then you can eat, but again you may not receive the full benefit or all the grace that you should be getting.  And lastly, if a person is dead they, of course, can't eat any food at all.  I suppose you could force some food down a dead person's throat but of course, that wouldn't do any good because they are dead.  And again if a person's soul is dead because they have mortal sin on their soul then they can still eat at the banquet at Holy Communion but that food is not going to do them any good, and remember it will actually cause harm by putting them in mortal sin of sacrilege.

    So we want to make sure that we stay in a state of grace, free of any mortal sin, and free of any venial sins. Of course, that's very easy to do you just go to confession, confess your sins to the priest, and have all of your sins forgiven by God through the priest.  That's kind of like going to the restroom and washing your hands before you eat your nice dinner.  You don't want to eat your nice dinner with your family with filthy hands from working or playing outside all day,  and you also don't want to go to God's banquet,  Holy Communion, with dirt on your soul.

    If you do have any venial sins on your soul and you haven't had a chance to go to confession, then please still do go to communion.  As long as you're not in a state of mortal sin then receiving Holy Communion will strengthen you and help you to stay away from sinning any further, especially help you stay away from committing mortal sins. 

    I know you've explained that in other lessons so thanks for talking about that again.

    You're very welcome.  It's pretty easy, just follow the rules that Jesus gave us and what the Catholic Church teaches us, and you’ll stay in a state of grace. 

    What about the rules about fasting. Does this apply to everybody?

    That's a very good question, so let's talk about that a little bit.

    We are required by the Church to fast from food at least 1 hour before we receive the Eucharist at Holy Communion.  It does come with a couple exceptions.  Anyone may drink water even up to the time that they receive communion.  If you need to take medicine because you're sick or the doctor has prescribed medicine for you, then you, of course, can take medicine and that does not interfere with the fast. That's about it on fasting before communion, and again it's only 1 hour before you receive Holy Communion, it's not an hour before Mass starts. it's one hour before you receive Holy Communion, and it's not very hard because consider this, we used to have to fast 24 hours before receiving communion.  That, of course, was not impossible either, but I'm happy that rule was changed to only fast 1 hour before Holy Communion.
So while we're on this topic, I'd like to mention that you should only receive communion one time on the same day, and there is an exception to that as well. If you are in the danger of death, let's say you go to mass in the morning and you receive communion and then you're in an accident later in the day or that evening and If you are in the danger of dying, then a priest could give you Holy Communion at that time as well. The only other exceptions are if you receive Holy Eucharist at Communion at midnight Mass before Christmas or the Mass of the Easter Vigil, then you can still receive Holy Communion at later masses on Christmas day or Easter day. 
    If you receive Holy Communion worthily, which again is in a state of grace, then you'll benefit in the following ways.  First of all, you will grow closer with Jesus and you will grow in your love of God and love your neighbor.  You will also increase the level of sanctifying Grace that you have in your soul.  Remember you received Sanctifying Grace when you were baptized and then every time you receive Holy Communion, in a state of grace, you increase that level of Sanctifying Grace.  You also receive protection from falling into further sin and especially from falling into mortal sin. If you receive communion in a state of grace, then you will be more apt to do good for your neighbor, for your family, for yourself, and for the world. 

    Besides being in a state of grace, I would also suggest that you prepare yourself before you go to Mass to receive Holy Communion. Even before Mass starts it's a great idea to get prepared by thinking about what you're getting ready to do and who you're getting ready to receive.  Remember when you receive the Eucharist at Holy Communion, you are receiving the True Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.  This is not just a symbol of Jesus, it is really Jesus Christ himself.  When you get to mass, and you get to your pew, then you should kneel and say a prayer of Thanksgiving and also adore Jesus in the Tabernacle, that should be in the area of the altar.  If you don't know where the Tabernacle is located you can look for the red candle and that will signify where the Tabernacle is.  Always in the Catholic Church, inside the Tabernacle, are the consecrated hosts,  which again is the True Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus. After you say your prayers before Mass, while you're kneeling, just gaze upon Jesus in the Tabernacle.  In doing those things, you will help yourself be better prepared when communion time comes to receive him 

    Is there anything we should be doing after we receive Holy Communion?

    Sure, just like before you receive communion, and you say prayers, you should also pray in thanksgiving, and adore Jesus in the Tabernacle and while others are receiving Holy Communion.  Right after receiving Holy Communion is the best time possible for you to pray because since you just received the physical body and blood of Jesus, he is now physically part of your body for about 15 or 20 minutes before the host is broken down by your body.  So use those 15 minutes very well, and if you have a special prayer that you want to pray, this would be a great time to pray such a prayer.  But always remember to give thanks to Jesus for this wonderful gift that he is giving us. 

    I know you said that we can only receive Holy Communion once a day, how often should we receive communion though?

    It's great to receive communion every single day if you can, but the minimum requirement is to receive Holy Communion at least once a year during Easter time and if you're in danger of death.  It will truly do your soul wonders, the more often you can receive Holy Communion, as long as it’s not more than once per day. When you receive Holy Communion, you improve and increase your bond and your love with Jesus Christ who is the source of all holiness and the giver of all graces. 

    If you really and truly understand the power and the importance of receiving the body and blood, soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, then you will really want to stay in a state of grace and receive Holy Communion at least every week when you go to Mass on Sunday.  Most people, if they really want to could actually go to mass and receive Holy Communion every single day.  Although some Churches may not have a mass every single morning or every single afternoon, it’s usually easy to find a church somewhere in your near vicinity that will have a mass available sometime during the day.  Let's say your church has mass at 7 every morning, as long as you are don't have to be at school at 7 or work at 7, then you can probably make it to mass as long as you're willing to make a couple sacrifices, like getting to bed on time and waking up a little bit earlier, so you can get ready to go to church before school or work.  I'm confident that Jesus would love to see you there every single day. 

    If you really want to go to daily mass and receive communion every day, but you just can't because there's a conflict with something else or you don't have a mass at a time where you can go, then you can still receive what we call a spiritual communion.  Spiritual communion means that you have a real and true desire to go to communion to receive the Eucharist. if you truly desire to have a spiritual communion, then you will receive The Graces of communion in the proportion to how much you desire to have spiritual communion.  I hope that makes sense.

    Something that's also great to do, if you can't make it to mass every day, is to go sometime during the day to pray and visit Jesus in the Tabernacle. Jesus said in the gospel of Matthew chapter 11 verse 28, “come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.”  So go to your church or the chapel where the Tabernacle is,  kneel down before Jesus, ask him for what you need, thank him for what you have, and then just kneel or sit there quietly for a few minutes to open your mind and your heart to the love of Jesus.  If you do this a few times, you will want to do it more and more. Eventually, you will find yourself wanting to go before the Tabernacle every single day.  It's the same way when you receive communion every single day, the more you do it the more you want to receive it every day.  And if you can do both, receive Holy Communion every day, and go to visit Jesus in the Tabernacle for a few minutes every day, what a wonderful thing for both you and for our Lord Jesus.  This is such a great way to improve your relationship and really have that personal relationship with Jesus.  In addition to that, make sure that you are praying every night,  praying the rosary every day,  and reading the Bible.

    One key thing to remember before we wrap today's lesson up is that even if you are in a state of mortal sin and you can’t receive holy communion, you are still are obliged to go to mass at least once a week on Sunday.  God gave us the Commandment to keep the Sabbath holy and the church continues to teach that still today, which means that you must go visit and worship God at least once a week on Sunday.  And the simple truth is, if you fail to go to mass on Sunday, for a  reason that’s within your control, then you will commit a mortal sin by not doing so.  

    Make sure you find a way to go to mass even if you're on vacation. You can look up mass times at churches where you will be on that Sunday, so make sure you take a little time for Jesus and go to Mass.  It's a little extra sacrifice to make, but remember, the sacrifice that we make out of love to God will be repaid to us even more.  

    Please remember to pray for any of your friends or family members who are not Catholic, that they will be touched by the Holy Spirit and desire to become part of Jesus's Church, the one, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  If you know people who are Catholic but are not going to church and practicing their faith as they should, then please also remember to keep those people in your prayers.  And as I always like to say, please remember to pray for Christopher and I and our family, and we will definitely remember to pray for you.

    Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”  Make sure you follow him and seek the truth and you will have everlasting life. 

Until next week God bless you and goodbye for now.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Podcast 29 : The Bread of Life | Change Your Life

 Apple Podcasts   Google Podcasts    Spotify

WARNING: This Lesson May Change Your Life Forever

    Do you really need to be in the Catholic Church in order to be saved and have eternal life in heaven? I used to think one way and now I have found out the truth.

    Welcome to another episode of All About My Catholic Faith. I’m Scott, and I’m Christopher, and we are the Two Cj’s. We’ve been working on this catechism podcast series to help you learn a little bit more about the Catholic Faith. 

    A couple of lessons ago, I asked you if you were familiar with the Bread of Life discourse. 


    So I thought we could go through that a bit today. 

    Ok, sounds good. This is from the Bible, right?

    That’s right. The Bread of Life Discourse is found in Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel. If you have your Bible handy, get it out and turn to Chapter 6 of John so you can follow along.

    Before we get into the reading, a little Old Testament lesson. Back in the time of Moses, the Jewish people were made to wander in the desert for forty years because of their lack of faith and belief in God. God didn’t do this simply as a punishment, but instead to help his chosen people grow in faith and trust in him. One way he did that was to give them manna. 

    What’s that?

    While they were wandering in the desert, you can probably imagine that it was hard for them to find enough food to eat on a consistent basis. God promised them that if they would just have faith, He would feed them with the manna, which was actually bread that fell from the sky each morning like dew. In order to help them build their faith and trust in him, he instructed them to only eat as much as they needed each morning, and not to try to gather up extra for later. I bet that was hard for them, not knowing if and when God would stop feeding them with this manna. How tempting it would be to dishonor God and go against his instructions. I bet a lot of people today would gather all they could just in case God didn’t deliver for a while. At least they would fend off their starvation for a little while. 

    Those who followed the will of God were rewarded in great ways.

    Let’s turn now to Chapter 6 in the Gospel of St. John.

    The chapter starts off with the multiplication of the loaves and Jesus walking on water:

    After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee [of Tiberias]. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit].” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
    When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

    When it was evening, his disciples went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.

    That sets the stage, so to speak, for the next day and the Bread of Life Discourse that starts in verse 22.  You’ll  see that the people started to realize that perhaps Jesus was actually the Son of God, but they still needed a little more proof:

    The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
    So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 
    So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 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. But I told you that although you have seen [me], you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.”

    The Jews murmured about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,”
and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”

    Doesn’t sound like they really believed he was the Son of God.

    Probably not yet! We just read that they were murmuring among themselves about Jesus. Murmuring would be like a lot of people in a crowd talking about something among themselves, kinda like after a great play in a baseball game, when everyone in the stadium is talking about that great play, but a player on the field would have no idea what the “buzz” was all about. 

    Same thing here, but we’re about to hear that Jesus knew exactly what they were all saying.  A mere human wouldn’t be able to understand what all these people were saying, but Jesus, of course, is not just a mere human, he is God.

    Let’s continue at verse 43:

    Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘They shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

    How do we know that Jesus wasn’t speaking figuratively? Didn’t he do that in other places in the Bible?

    He often did, especially when he was teaching with parables. Here though, when Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood” the word that was used in the original Greek for eat was “gnaw”. So using such a descriptive word such as “gnaw” probably indicated this was not just a figure of speech. Keep listening as we continue with verse 54:

    Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

    So, I see that Jesus is saying that eating his flesh, or his body, is the key to being saved and to having eternal life in heaven. Is that right? 

    You nailed it. 

    There were some of his followers who thought that what Jesus was saying about eating his flesh and drinking his blood was too hard to accept and so they started walking away. This was another clue that they really and truly understood that Jesus was speaking in real terms of actually needing to eat or gnaw on his body in order to make it to heaven. They weren’t willing to do that and many returned to their former way of life and stopped following Jesus. A very important fact here is that Jesus never said to those who were walking away, “wait, don’t leave, I was only speaking figuratively, I didn’t really mean that you have to really eat my flesh”. He didn’t force them to stay, just like he doesn’t force anyone to believe in him and follow him still today. We hear at the end of chapter 6, that even though many left, many believed even deeper and kept following:

    Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.

    If we fast forward just a bit to the Last Supper that we talked about in the last two lessons, and keeping in mind this all so important Bread of Life Discourse that we heard today, then it should be crystal clear that if we believe that Jesus is God from all the miracles he has done, and we truly understand that he is one with God the Father, and we accept that God really and truly wants what’s best for us, and to have eternal life in heaven one day, then we must see that eating his flesh and drinking his blood is vital to our everlasting survival. Jesus clearly said in verse 53, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you do not have life within you”, and then he continued, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” 

    I guess that’s why you’ve said, that in order for us to be saved and make it to heaven, we must be in the Catholic Church.

    You are right, once again. 

    The only way possible that someone can be saved is to be part of Jesus Christ’s Church, his Mystical Body; to live in the way that he commands us through his Church; staying in a state of grace and repenting when we do fall short; eating his flesh and drinking his blood. The only way we can eat his flesh and drink his blood is at communion in the Catholic Church. So, yes, in order to be saved and to have eternal life in heaven, we must belong to the Catholic Church. 

    Since God does will that everyone makes it to heaven, and since he knows that there may be some people, who by no fault of their own, don’t know the truths about Jesus and about his One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, then it may be possible for these people to still be saved. Only God knows how this can happen outside the Church, and God alone is the Judge in these matters.  The Church has always taught this and continues to teach that this is the way to salvation.

    We will continue next week talking about some more details of receiving the Holy Eucharist at Communion. 

    I hope you’ll remember to pray for everyone you know, that they will come to know and believe in Jesus and become an integral part of his Church. I ask for you to also pray for Christopher and I, and our family members, and we promise to pray for you.

    Until next week, God Bless You and goodbye for now.