The Eucharist and Faith in the Gospel
The importance of the Eucharist in the gospels is manifested by the fact that there were two miracles of the multiplication ofloaves and fishes: one before the Jews, the other before the Gentiles. It was as if our Blessed Lord made certain that both his own people and those who were to be his people would know this mystery. After the multiplication of the loaves, mentioned in John 6, before the Jews our Lord said that he had come down from heaven as the bread of life and he asked, “What will you think when I ascend into heaven?” Notice the reaction among the Jews and among the disciples because of the faith that was asked of them. Think of how the heart of the Savior must have been saddened! First of all in verse 41, “At this the Jews began to murmur disapprovingly because he said, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven.’” And then as he reiterated it in verse 52, “This led to a fierce dispute among the Jews. ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’” In verse 61, “Many of his disciples on hearing it exclaimed, ‘This is more than we can stomach! Why listen to such talk?’ Jesus was aware that his disciples were murmuring about it and asked, ‘Did this shock you? What if you see the son of man ascending to the place where he was before?’” Again in verse 66, “From that time on, many of his disciples withdrew and no longer went about with him.” Our Lord did not say, “Come back, we'll change everything.” But rather, “Abeant”—Let them go. Then to the Twelve, “Will you also go away?” And then Peter spoke up saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” This was the reaction among the Jews. Whenever the Lord intends to give us his continued presence, there will always be some among his chosen people who will murmur, who will dispute, who will rebel, who will leave.