Feed Your Soul

08-19-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

Jesus invites the people in the gospel– as he invites us today – to go beyond the fulfillment of our physical needs to the appreciation of the possibility that exists in Jesus for the fulfillment of the hunger of our souls.

Feeding the Soul: "Being filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18b)

The first reading of today from the Book of Proverbs suggests that one who feeds the soul has embraced wisdom. The reading goes on to elaborate what is wisdom. "Wisdom has built her House; she has set up her seven columns" (Prov 9:1-2).

If we have a look at the previous chapter of the Book of Proverbs there are two verses that seem to list the seven pillars of wisdom: Similar to these pillars, and based on the words of St Paul (1 Cor 12:8-10), the Catechism of the Catholic Church lists the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit as wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (CCC 1830-1831). It is not difficult to see the close relationship between Wisdom (of the Book of Proverbs) and the Holy Spirit.

Interestingly, in the second reading of today St Paul offers a set of spiritual advice: "Watch carefully how you live, because the days are evil". Finally, He invites us to "be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18b). In the context of our reflection, could we say that feeding the soul could mean being open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

How to Feed the Soul: Always and everywhere give thanks to God (Eph 5:20)

In practical terms, I suppose, the way of feeding the soul and being filled with the Spirit, is to be focused on God in prayer. Again in the second reading of today, St Paul invites us to prayalways.

Finally in the context of the gospel readings of these five Sundays, we need to acknowledge that there is no food for the soul that is as nutritious as the Eucharist.

The Food for the Soul: "The living bread" (Jn 6:21)

I strongly believe that the Eucharist offers me the best means of nourishing my soul. When I receive the Eucharist, God in Christ becomes part of me, and I become part of Him. There is that holy exchange. I become aware that I am in the image of God (Gen 1:27). The thirst of my soul issatisfied. I commune with God.

Today, being challenged by the Word of God, I would like to respond to the invitation of the Spirit to consciously receive the body and blood of Jesus. When the Priest or Deacon or Eucharistic minister reminds me, "The Body of Christ", and as I respond with the 'Amen', I would like to renew my faith in the presence of Christ in that bread. And may the Eucharist become the food for my soul. May the promise of Jesus become real to me: "Anyone who eats this bread will live forever" (Jn 6:58).