As we continue our readings this week from the sixth chapter of St. John I am acutely aware that, except for the priest who is still able to celebrate Mass daily, we are unable to celebrate the Eucharist together. Here are the words of Jesus in today’s gospel. “I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever. And the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
It reminded me of Charles de Foucauld who became a hermit in the Algerian desert at the beginning of the twentieth Century working and living among the Tuareg people. Adoration and the celebration of mass were an essential part of his life. When he moved to an area where there were no French soldiers and brother Michel, a Frenchman, who was his disciple for some months, had left him he was unable to celebrate Mass because canon law said that you could only celebrate Mass if one believer was present. This lasted for seven months and then he was given permission from Rome to celebrate Mass without anyone present. Without the Eucharist was for him inconsolable and lonely. The greater was his joy, when he could experience Christ’s presence again by way of the Eucharist.
We are in the same position as we experience lockdown. We need to remind ourselves that we are fed by the Word as well as the Sacrament. Lord as I hunger and thirst for you, open my heart that I may be fed with your living word today. Give me the grace to experience your presence in the the people I meet and in the beauty that surrounds me.