What Does It Mean To Believe? – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

 

Join Msgr. John Esseff as he asks the question, “What does it mean to believe?”  He explores the thought through several moments he shared with Mother Teresa, now known as St. Teresa of Calcutta.

Gospel

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by Pope St. John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders around the world. 

What Do You Need To Give Jesus? – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff podcast

 

Join Msgr. John Esseff as he discusses the need for us to encounter Jesus and to give him our “five loaves and two fish.”

Gospel MT 14:13-21

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by Pope St. John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders around the world. 

To Listen to God – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff podcast

Are you frustrated, angry, overwhelmed?  Have you been trying to do “good things,” but find yourself hitting a wall in your family, in your workplace, or in your ministry?  Msgr. Esseff counsels us when to say “yes” or to say “no,”  when to speak and when to be silent, when to stay and when to go,  and so forth. Everything hinges on listening to God and discernment.  Are you operating in the “Light?”

Today, Msgr. Esseff asks that you take an hour to enter into the inner self and to listen to what God wants you to do.  Write down what you hear God say in Psalm 139

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

1O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me!

2Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up;

thou discernest my thoughts from afar.

3Thou searchest out my path and my lying down,

and art acquainted with all my ways.

4Even before a word is on my tongue,

lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

5Thou dost beset me behind and before,

and layest thy hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

it is high, I cannot attain it.

7Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?

Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8If I ascend to heaven, thou art there!

If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there!

9If I take the wings of the morning

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10even there thy hand shall lead me,

and thy right hand shall hold me.

11If I say, “Let only darkness cover me,

and the light about me be night,”

12even the darkness is not dark to thee,

the night is bright as the day;

for darkness is as light with thee.

13For thou didst form my inward parts,

thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful.

Wonderful are thy works!

Thou knowest me right well;

15my frame was not hidden from thee,

when I was being made in secret,

intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.

16Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance;

in thy book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.

17How precious to me are thy thoughts, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18If I would count them, they are more than the sand.

When I awake, I am still with thee.

19O that thou wouldst slay the wicked, O God,

and that men of blood would depart from me,

20men who maliciously defy thee,

who lift themselves up against thee for evil!

21Do I not hate them that hate thee, O Lord?

And do I not loathe them that rise up against thee?

22I hate them with perfect hatred;

I count them my enemies.

23Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

24And see if there be any wicked way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting!

The Legacy of St. Charbel Makhluf and St Nimatullah Kassab with Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts

Msgr. Esseff shares with us the great legacy of prayer and reform left to us by St. Charbel Makhluf and St. Nimatullah Youssef Kassab Al-Hardini (1808-1858) powerful saints for our times.

Reading 1  JER 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13

This word of the LORD came to me:
Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear!

I remember the devotion of your youth,
how you loved me as a bride,
Following me in the desert,
in a land unsown.
Sacred to the LORD was Israel,
the first fruits of his harvest;
Should any presume to partake of them,
evil would befall them, says the LORD.

When I brought you into the garden land
to eat its goodly fruits,
You entered and defiled my land,
you made my heritage loathsome.
The priests asked not,
“Where is the LORD?”
Those who dealt with the law knew me not:
the shepherds rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,
and went after useless idols.

Be amazed at this, O heavens,
and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD.
Two evils have my people done:
they have forsaken me, the source of living waters;
They have dug themselves cisterns,
broken cisterns, that hold no water.

St. Charbel Makhlouf... some call him the Padre Pio of Lebanon 1
Saint Charbel Makhluf, O.L.M. (or Sharbel Maklouf)
St Nimatullah Youssef Kassab Al-Hardini

BKL306 – In a Time of Chaos and Confusion… – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

 

BKL 306 ” Building a Kingdom of Love” – Join Msgr. John Esseff as he discusses the turbulent times we live in which chaos and confusion seem to be rampant everywhere. He offers the one person who can help us now…Jesus Christ.

Gospel MT 11:28-30

Jesus said:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by Pope St. John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders around the world. 

BKL305 – Encountering Our True Selves in Christ – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

 

BKL 305 ” Building a Kingdom of Love” – “He shall proclaim peace to the nations!”  Peace begins inside the hearts of each baptized Christian.  Do you know who you are?  Have you truly encountered Jesus?

Gospel MT 11:25-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by Pope St. John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders around the world. 

BKL304 – Living a Life with True Happiness and Joy – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the true meanings of happiness and joy.  What does it really look like?  How can we live a life of happiness and joy?  Msgr. Esseff discusses the beatitudes and forgiveness and the keys to a proper understanding.  What is true humility?  How much the Father loves you!

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by Pope St. John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders around the world.   

 

Conference 2: Healing Gifts and Transforming Moments – Yearning for Healing /w Msgr. John Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 2: Healing Gifts and Transforming Moments – Yearning for Healing /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

Conference 2: Healing Gifts and Transforming Moments

    1. Unity of Jesus in Heaven with the Church on Earth through

    Baptism…with Mary as the one who connects/joins/links the Body on earth with Jesus, the Head.

    1. Mary’s love for the people of earth: encouraging, teaching, warning, appearing, interceding
      • Message to Juan Diego

    My dearest son, hear and let it penetrate into your heart: Let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you.

    Let nothing trouble your heart or your mind.

    Do not fear any illness or worry, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother?

    Are you not under my shadow and protection?

    Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?

    During these past months of pandemic – in isolation and uncertainty we have come face-to-face with our beautiful yet fragile world. We have come to realize more deeply than ever before that we are living in a world of poverty, pain, illness, grief, and death…in a world of uncertainty, division, injustice, anger, and frustration…in a world of spiritual darkness where peoples are yearning for light…where there is so much need for healing.

    Now is the time to live with courage, to accept our individual brokenness, to embrace our own wounded-ness – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual – and to seek healing. Only then can we put our wounded-ness at the service of others. Only then can we become

    WOUNDED HEALERS.

    1. Transforming Moments when people encounter Jesus in their lives
      • Mark 5: 1-­‐20  -­‐ Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac

    After healing, Jesus sent him home to proclaim the power of Jesus.

    Today, the power of Jesus to drive out devils resides in His exorcists.

    Acts 9: 1-­‐22   Conversion of Saul powerful transformation Once he encountered Jesus, he became Paul, enflamed with Divine love

    Many Saints had transforming encounters with Jesus in their lives and radiated Christ, shining forth with the Divine Power of grace. They are beautiful examples for us -­‐ and powerful intercessors for our healing.

    1. Sources of Healing
      • The power of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist
      • The power of healing in the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick
      • The power of healing prayer, novenas, Rosary, Stations of the Cross
      • Sacramentals: Sign of the Cross, holy water, blessings
      • Devotional prayer
      • Prayer and protection of the angels
    1. Building a Kingdom of Love Msgr. John A. Esseff Someday Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

    (see quotations in Handouts)

    Suggestion for personal reflection and prayer

    1. Can I recall some transforming moment in my life where I personally encountered Jesus’ love for me?
    2. How has it changed me, impacted my life?

    HANDOUTS: Quotes

    Building a Kingdom of Love -­‐ Msgr. John A. Esseff

    “A war is raging. Heaven and hell are on a collision course. Because

    many of Jesus’ soldiers are wounded, we need healing. After the healing comes the conquest of love. Muslims are not the enemy. Sinners are not the enemy. Satan is the enemy.

    At first we will be a rag-tag army. Vicious enemies will come against us but we will never abandon the struggle to place the light of Jesus’ love in the lampstand of the world.

    Our weaknesses do not matter. We are earthen vessels, but held by Jesus. Let us work to establish Jesus’ Universal Kingdom of Love. If you believe that the reign of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart will cover the whole world, it will take place.”

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Someday -­‐ Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

    SOME DAY

    after mastering the winds, the waves,

    the tides and gravity,

    we will harness for GOD the energies of LOVE and then…

    for the second time in the history of the world

    man will have discovered

    FIRE


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He served as a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity.  He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. He is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

Conference 1: Gifts of the Holy Spirit – Yearning for Healing /w Msgr. John Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 1: Gifts of the Holy Spirit – Yearning for Healing /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

Conference 1: Gifts of the Holy Spirit

  1. Opening Prayer:

Praise of the God the Father, Creator of our world…

God the Son…Redeemer who established His Body, the Church and God the Holy Spirit who has gifted us to minister to others

  1. We, the baptized in this time of need look up to heaven to Mary…and pray: Hail, Holy Queen
  1. We are all in need of healing…we are all wounded…

God has not left us orphans… but has given us gifts in Baptism and Confirmation, gifts for us to use to minister to others, to teach, to heal, to preach, to serve…

  1. 1 Cor: 12: 4-­‐11  -­‐ Different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit
  1. Called to holiness in our different vocations in life healing power of blessings and prayer
    • Single life examples of holiness
    • Religious life – “ “ “
    • Married life
      • Parents called to bless their children, throughout their lives, family prayer,
      • Baptism blessing of child by the family, community of the Church
  1. Blessings in the Old Testament through all generations
    • Genesis 26: 1-­‐5 Isaac’s blessing of Abimelech
    • Genesis 27: 26-­‐29 Isaac’s blessing of Jacob
    • Genesis 49: 25-­‐26 Jacob’s blessing of his sons
    • Exodus 20: 6 God’s blessing to Moses -­‐ the 10 Commandments
    • Numbers: 6:24-­‐27 Blessing of the priests
  2. Through the union of Baptism, we the Church Militant in the world today -­‐ are surrounded by the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering -­‐ our prayers to them for their assistance are powerful

2

  1. Pope Francis’ decree that Latin-­‐rite Catholics observe the feast “Mary, Mother of the Church” on the Monday after Pentecost.  John 19: 25-­‐31 (see quote in handouts)
  1. Matthew 5: 1-­‐12   The Beatitudes

The Beatitudes are our challenge, our call to live the Gospel today…to LOVE everyone in the entire world

10) The Holy Spirit has given us many gifts…the Greatest Gift is LOVE– all healing is because of LOVE…healing comes through love

Paul’s exhortation: 1 Cor 13: 1-­‐13

Suggestions for individual reflection and prayer:

1, Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the special gifts that you have been given…make a list of them

  • How can I use those gifts for others?
  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the special gifts He has given to your spouse,,,your children…your grandchildren…your friend/neighbor
    • How can I affirm them?
  2. Reflect on the personal challenge to you to LOVE everyone as you are called in 1 Cor: 13: 1-­‐13.  Prayerfully, make a resolution.

HANDOUT: Quote

MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH

Awaiting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the first disciples were had perfectly

accepted and made fruitful the singular grace with which importantly, the grace of being the Mother of God. All of the Church’s children can admire her complete docility to the action of the Holy Spirit: faultless docility in faith and transparent humility. Mary, therefore, testifies fully to the obedient and faithful reception of every gift of the Holy Spirit.

Moreover, as the Second Vatican Council teaches, the Virgin Mary, by her maternal charity, “cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and cares, until they are led into the happiness of their true home”.[117] Since she “let herself be guided by the Holy Spirit on a journey of faith towards a destiny of service and fruitfulness, today we look to her and ask her to help us proclaim the message of salvation to all and to enable new disciples to become evangelizers in turn”.[118]

For this reason, Mary is recognized as the Mother of the Church and we, powerful intercession, the charisms, abundantly bestowed by the Holy Spirit among the faithful, may be received with docility and bear fruit for the life and mission of the Church and for the good of the world.

The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, in the Audience granted to the undersigned

Cardinal Prefect on 14 March 2016, approved the present Letter, adopted in the Plenary Session of this Congregation, and ordered its publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, May

15, 2016, the Solemnity of Pentecost.


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He served as a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity.  He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. He is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

BKL 260 – Corpus Christi with Msgr. John Esseff – Building a Kingdom podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the teaching of Jesus found in John Chapter 6 for the great feast of Corpus Christi.  He discusses the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  The tragedy becomes when we look upon the Blessed Sacrament as a “something” instead of a “Someone”.

From the NAB  John Chapter 6

The Bread of Life Discourse.22* The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left.23* Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks.24When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.25And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”26Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.27Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life,*which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”l28So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”29Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”30So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do?m31* Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:n

‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

32So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.o33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34p So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”35* Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.q36But I told you that although you have seen [me], you do not believe.r37Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,38because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.s39And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day.t40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.”u

41The Jews murmured about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,”42and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”v43Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring* among yourselves.w44No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.45It is written in the prophets:

‘They shall all be taught by God.’

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.x46Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.y47Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.48I am the bread of life.49Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;z50this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.51I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”a

52The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?”53Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.54Whoever eats* my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.55For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.57Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.b58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”59These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

The Words of Eternal Life.

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30th 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Blessed Mother Teresa.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.   He continues to  serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.