A Teaching by Child on the Eucharist and Knowing God

Given on 2/22/2007 at Yahweh Shalom

 

 

The Lord wanted me to share today to elevate our thoughts spiritually.  Don’t get hung up in pre-conceived ideas of what will happen, because we don’t know how God will act – what He will do in this place and will not do in that place.  We just have to believe His words and pray, and pray with confidence.

 

Knowing:  What I’m going to read and give to you today is also part of this ‘knowing.’  People ask so many times, ‘How do I know God hears my prayers?’  Well, you have to know that He hears your prayers.  Then they say, ‘How do I know that my faith is strong enough?’  There is a lesson in my favorite book* that I want to share with you.  It is a teaching that Jesus gave to His Apostles and Disciples.  Remember in Scripture where it talks about He takes the child upon His knee and says that you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless you become like a child?  And everybody says, including the Scribe, ‘Well, how can I be reborn again?’  And we keep saying, ‘How can I become a child?’  This is what Jesus means about becoming like a child:

     He’s talking to little Benjamin.

     He comes into a town and little Benjamin lives there, and Jesus has been there many times before.  As a matter of fact, He’s in Capernaum.  They know Him well.  Little Benjamin is about eight.  He’s a small child.

     He asks Jesus, ‘Jesus will you let me come with You as far as Your house?’  Jesus says to him, ‘Does your mother know?’  Little Benjamin says, ‘Yes, she does.’  Jesus smiling, asks, ‘Is it true?’  Benjamin says, ‘Yes, Jesus, it is true.’  Jesus says, ‘Come then.’

     The boy jumps for joy and takes the left hand of Jesus Who stretches it out to him.  With how much loving reliance the child places his little swarthy hand into Jesus’ long hand!

     Tell me a nice parable, Jesus, says the boy skipping beside Jesus and looking up at Him, his face shining with joy.

     Jesus also looks at him with a cheerful smile, which opens His lips shaded by His moustache and His reddish golden beard, which shines like gold in the sun.

    ‘What will you do with a parable?  It is not a game.’

     ‘It is better than a game.  When I go to bed, I think about it then I dream of it and the following day I remember it and I repeated to myself to be good.  It makes me good.’

     ‘Do you remember it?’

     ‘Yes, I do.  Shall I repeat to you all the ones You told me?’

     ‘You are clever, Benjamin, more clever than men, who forget.  As a prize I will tell you a parable.’

     The boy no longer hops about.  He walks seriously and as gravely as an adult, he does not miss one word or any inflection of Jesus, Whom he watches carefully, without even worrying where he puts his feet.

     Jesus tells him then the story of the good shepherd.  When He finishes it, Jesus says at the end of the parable, ‘Benjamin, now tell me:  who is the good shepherd?’

     ‘It is You, Jesus.’

     ‘And who is the little lamb?’

     ‘It is me, Jesus.’

     ‘But I will be going away now.  You will forget Me.’

     ‘No, Jesus.  I will not forget You because I love You.’

     ‘Your love will come to an end when you no longer see Me.’

     ‘I will repeat to myself the words that You spoke to me and it will be the same as if You were present.  I will love You and obey You thus.  And tell me, Jesus:  Will you remember Benjamin?’

     ‘Always.’

     ‘And how will You remember?’

     ‘I will say to Myself that you promised to love and obey Me and I will remember you thus.’

     ‘And will you give me Your Kingdom?’

     ‘I will, if you are good.’

     ‘I will be good.’

     ‘What will you do?  Life is long.’

     ‘But Your words are very good, too.  If I repeat them to myself and I do what they say I should do, I will be good all my life.  And I will do that because I love You.  When one loves, it is not difficult to be good.  I do not find it difficult to obey my mother, because I love her.  And it will not be difficult for me to obey You, because I love You.’

     Jesus stops and looks at the little face, which is lit by love more than by the sun.  Jesus’ joy is so deep that another sun seems to be burning in His soul and shining through His eyes.

That’s what Jesus means about loving like a child.

‘It’s easy to be good because I love you.  I will repeat to myself your words and then I will be good.’ 

This is what Jesus means about being a child.  Do we do this?  There is sadness in Jesus’ voice when He says, ‘You are wiser than men who forget.’  We hear the words every Sunday, or daily Mass, or in Scripture.  Do we repeat them to ourselves, and then apply them in our day for the love of Jesus?  If we did we would become saints very quickly, but, like all men, we become absentminded and we think that there are other things that we need to do and we forget the words of Jesus.  So that is what Jesus means about being like a little child.

 

The Eucharist:  The Lord asked me to teach you today about the Eucharist, but to begin it, I’m going to take a reading from Numbers, Chapter 11, and it has to do with the feeding of the manna.

You remember in Exodus and in Numbers they talk about how the people are complaining that they are hungry and so God gives them the manna.  It falls every morning, and they have the rule that they are to gather only what they need for that day; however, on the day before the Sabbath they are to gather a double portion and not gather on the Sabbath.  So, at first the people are very, very happy because this manna falls every day, which is a miracle, but it is not the great miracle.  The great miracle is that this manna, which is like a fluffy hoarfrost and can be made into patties or baked like a bread, tastes the way the person wants it to taste and it totally nourishes them.  They don’t lose weight during the journey; they are healthy because of this manna.  God is providing everything in this manna, but Chapter 11, verses 4 through 6 says:

 

   4The foreign elements among them were so greedy for meat that even the Israelites lamented again, “Would that we had meat for food!  5We remember the fish we used

to eat without cost in Egypt, and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and

the garlic.  6But now we are famished; we see nothing before us but this manna.”

 

They are complaining.  This passage, this chapter, is a foreshadowing of what the Lord is going to give to us on Holy Thursday, which is His Body to eat, His Blood to drink, and He says this is nourishment.  This is the perfect Manna that He is giving to us.  When we go to Holy Communion, when we receive Jesus, He feeds us perfectly spiritually and He feeds us perfectly physically.  How many times in history has the Lord raised up saints that have lived on the Eucharist alone - never eating or drinking anything else - and they lived very long lives just on the Eucharist.  But it takes faith, it takes believing, and it takes knowing.  I’m not saying God will do this for every one of us here.  This is a miracle that He gives to show the people how perfect is this new Manna.  This is truly God in the Eucharist and in God you find everything that you need.

 

Jesus wanted me to share with you today and this is for you to teach others.  Sometimes we do not meditate, like little Benjamin, on Who we are receiving and what He does within us.  Being like the Israelites, very often we get distracted, or we want more, or we remember what the world was to us or gave us, and so we push away this Perfect Food.  It becomes a habit, and, when you receive Jesus, you are distracted thinking about the things in the world.  That’s the same as not being satisfied with Who you are receiving.  You want something beyond, or away from Jesus (God), just like the Israelites did.  They wanted meat, they wanted fruit, they wanted this and that, even though they were perfectly nourished. 

 

We have the Perfect Food, but yet we don’t go to the Lord’s Table as often as we should, as we can.  We need Him because each time we receive Him we receive a different benefit, because each day we have a different need.  Some days we need spiritual help in this direction or that direction; sometimes we need physical help, and when we go to Jesus in the Eucharist with full knowledge of Who we are receiving and what He can do, and we know when we pray when we receive Him for the things that we need, when we know that He will give them to us, it is ours.  So today, when I prayed, I asked the Lord for the things I needed at Communion.  Tomorrow I may need something else, and I can pray as I receive Him and know that I’m going to get it.

 

As the Lord said, this place is a place for learning; where He can instruct -- and He gives us such wonderful food.  But no matter how good this food is, the perfect food is Him in the Eucharist, because when Jesus comes, so comes the Father and the Holy Spirit, Who opens everything to us.  We can’t understand Scripture without the Holy Spirit, we can’t pray without the Holy Spirit, we cannot understand God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, without the Holy Spirit, but He comes with Jesus in the Eucharist.  With all the grace we receive through the Eucharist our Faith becomes alive.  That’s what I wanted to share with you today.