Astronaut brings Jesus, in the Eucharist to space station. Colonel Michael S. Hopkins was given permission to bring the Blessed Sacrament with him and has been able to receive Communion while in space. In this reflection, he is commentating on the Gospel of John 6:52-59.(see Video of Col. Michael below) Col. Hopkins is a convert to the Catholic faith. He is married with 2 sons.
Colonel Michael S. Hopkins, U.S. Space Force NASA Astronaut, wrote on the Notre Dame Website, "We all reflect on the Gospel from our own perspectives, informed by our own experiences and situated in our unique places in God’s creation. I have the privilege of reflecting on this passage from the Gospel of John while aboard the International Space Station, orbiting the planet earth once every 90 minutes at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour. On November 15th, 2020, I launched as the Commander of the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon, named Resilience, and subsequently arrived at the International Space Station where I am serving as Flight Engineer for Expedition 64."
He went on to explain, "this mission has been an amazing opportunity for me to contribute to the shared human endeavor of space exploration and also a profound occasion for personal reflection in my life of faith. Being in space gives a person the ability to see the world in a unique way. When I see the earth from this vantage point, it’s just breathtaking, and I feel like, when I look down, I see the canvas of God’s creation in all its beauty. But today’s reading reminds us that God also sees the world from our perspective, through the human eyes of his son, Jesus, who lived among us. Our God does not remain far above us in the heavens; our God comes to us as flesh and blood."
The Colonel continued, "Jesus continues to dwell among us through the gift of his Body and Blood, and today’s gospel is a central text for our Catholic faith in the Eucharist. I was very fortunate to be able to bring the Eucharist with me on this mission, and I receive communion on a weekly basis. Most notably, I received communion before I went out on my space walks to work on the station. For me, it was extremely important to know that Jesus was with me in those situations. His presence helped me step out into space. The gospel reading today is likewise asking us to step into the unknown. Jesus tells us, “my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink.” Can we take the step to embrace this mystery through faith? Right now, I can see the earth from above and the vastness of space beyond, but I feel the power of this mystery most significantly because the Lord of all creation floats weightlessly in a pyx beside me." (Source: FaithND - Reflection)