The lure of self-satisfaction through entertainment, adventure and intoxication baits people with the feeling of pleasure while robbing them from being happy. A life is fully satisfied when the mind and heart are at rest. Truth satisfies the mind. Love satisfies the heart. The Catholic Church is the only means of satisfying both. If you are looking for more out of life, I encourage you to honestly investigate scripture and tradition. You will discover the sole place Christians have been fully satisfied since the Last Supper. The fullness of Christianity is discovering that the New Testament is not a document. The New Testament is the Blessed Sacrament.
Western society provides an abundance of physical nourishment. Yet, the growth of people living in deception and suffering spiritual starvation has hit a critical mass. Undeveloped countries are full of desperate, hungry and thirsty people. Great philanthropic work has reduced the suffering of material deprivation, but no attention is being paid to the immaterial hunger and thirst in developed countries.
Aid agencies aren’t satisfying the heart’s hunger for love. Technological progress and modern psychology can’t quench the thirst for truth. Where culture is not fed with real love, it starves on lust and gluttony. Where there is no objective right or wrong answer, there is no certainty. Without true love, hearts are restless. Without certain truth, there can be no peace.
There is One who fully satisfies all hunger for love. There is One who quenches all thirst for truth. His name is Jesus Christ. “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will never be hungry, he who has faith in Me will never know thirst.” (John 6:35) Your thirst for truth and your hunger for love is fully satisfied by Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 is a common passage to prove that faith in Christ saves. He teaches that those “who believe in Him may not perish but may have eternal life”. Notice that Christ uses the words may have, instead of will have. Faith in Christ does not certify eternal life. If we continue reading three chapters later, Christ does tell us how we will have eternal life. During His Bread of Life Discourse, Christ declares the surest way of attaining salvation. Yes, faith may save us, but the only certain way to salvation is by eating His body and drinking His blood. In Christ’s own words, salvation is only guaranteed through the Catholic Church’s sacrament of Holy Communion.
In John 6, Christ teaches us how to “come to Him”. We must eat His flesh and drink His blood. This controversial teaching can only be understood when contextualized with the Last Supper. “Take, eat; this is my body. Then he took a cup… Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the new testament.” (Matthew 26:26-28) At the Last Supper, Christ makes His sacrificial offering on the cross an eternal sacrament in the form of bread and wine. Every believer thereafter is filled with His fullest expression of love by receiving Him at Holy Communion.
Love is reciprocal to be fully satisfying. By preparing ourselves for Holy Communion throughout the day, we convert our lives by loving our neighbours more. When invited to a wedding feast, we prepare ourselves externally by wearing a suit or dress, how much greater is our internal preparation when we are “invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (Revelations 19:9) It is through this preparation and celebration of the Holy Eucharist that our hunger for love is fully satisfied.
Unfortunately, this Bread of Life sermon is where many of Christ’s disciples “turned back and no longer went about with him.” (John 6:66) It’s interesting that the Gospel of John’s posthumously placed chapter and verse for this moment is 666. A number that emphasises when His disciples became anti-Christ. The moment they denied His flesh and blood! Like people who are not fully satisfied by the Holy Eucharist, they found Christ’s teachings too hard to handle and looked elsewhere.
Catholics have stood firm for 2000 years on the teaching of the Holy Eucharist. They have been called superstitious and idolatrous. Others have misinterpreted Christ’s words as symbolic. When Jesus says “truly, truly” in scripture, you know the following teaching is very important. He didn’t say “truly, truly” in John 6 but punctuated its importance by repeating three times, “we must eat His body and drink His blood or have no life in us”. One of the earliest Church documents comes from a disciple of St. John named Ignatius of Antioch. His direct instruction to the Church in Philadelphia leaves no room for debate. “Take heed to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to show forth the unity of His blood; one altar” (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Philadelphians).
Lord Jesus began His Bread of Life sermon by stating that “Faith in Him” would quench our thirst. Believing in Jesus Christ does satisfy our thirst for truth because He is Truth. No longer do we live in doubt when we live for Christ. The only discernment that remains is how to better follow His will. It is His will for us to “come to Him” as intimately as a Bridegroom comes to His Bride.
Where faith quenches our thirst for truth, coming to Him at Holy Communion satisfies our hunger for love. When the prodigal son came to meet his father on the road, his faith reconciled their relationship. But his father didn’t leave him there. He fully satisfied him by bringing him into the house for a thanksgiving (eucharistia) feast. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus declared, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road” (Luke 24:32) Their faith quenched their thirst for truth, but their hunger to be with God was satisfied when they entered the house for “the breaking of the bread”.
Is faith in Christ is enough for salvation? Faith enters you into a relationship with Jesus Christ. But having a relationship with God and coming to God are two very different things. Just as having a relationship with your husband or wife and consummating that relationship is very different. The Catholic Church teaches that the most certain means of salvation is through the Sacraments. May some be saved outside the Church? Perhaps, but are you going to risk it?
Can faith alone satisfy? When our lives are governed by our ability to receive God worthily in Holy Communion, love is manifested by that relationship. When our desire to come to Him compels us to work through our stagnation of faith, we are headed in the right direction. This journey is difficult, but our hunger is satisfied along the way by receiving the Blessed Sacrament.
The doctrine of the Eucharist makes a conversation about Christianity difficult with non-Catholic Christians. Though our beliefs are similar, they are fundamentally infinitely different. The infinite difference being the contrary faith we have regarding the Infinite’s Real Presence. For Christians who believe that faith alone saves, faith in Christ’s “New Testament” seems to be a major stumbling block. Many who “do deeds of power in Christ’s name will by no means lose the reward” (Mark 9:39,41) but for them to live a fully satisfied life, they need to come to the Blessed Sacrament where Jesus fulfills His promise to be “with us always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
If the Holy Eucharist is already the source and summit of your life, be thankful. For as Christ said at the end of His Bread of Life discourse, “no one can come to Him unless it is granted by the Father.” (John 6:65) If you have been chosen by the Father to be fully satisfied by the Body and Blood of His Son, then receive Our Lord worthily and allow His light to shine through you.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a life that is fully satisfied, I encourage you to prepare yourselves to enter the Catholic Church. Perhaps by reading this blog, it the Father’s way of leading you to His Son. A path that ends at the only place on earth where you can access the Blessed Sacrament. Join the Communion of Saints by becoming a fully satisfied Christian and learning how everything the Catholic Church abundantly offers flows from the Precious Blood substantially present in the Holy Eucharist.
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