( A commentary on John 6: 52-59)
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” Jesus 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. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him. Just 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. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. (John 6:52-59)
Today’s scripture reminds us of a power that we each have but, often, fail to grasp. In that failure can lie hopelessness even despair.
Here, we see, once again, Jesus facing opposition and criticism. Some were upset and challenging His words. He doesn’t back down.
He responded with even greater clarity and confidence. He took His statement about the bread of life to the next level by saying, “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.”
Here is a person who reveals the utmost confidence, conviction and strength.
Of course, Jesus is God, so we should expect this from Him. But nonetheless, it is inspiring and reveals the strength we are all called to have in this world. The world we live in is filled with opposition to the truth. It’s opposed to many moral truths, and trivializes the importance of daily prayer, humility, abandonment to God, putting God’s will above all things, etc.
So, what do we do? We learn from the strength and example of Jesus. Whenever we find ourselves put in a challenging position, or whenever we feel as though our faith is being attacked, we must deepen our resolve to be all the more faithful.
We must always remember that we are no longer living life when we let others write the script for us.
The Christian vocation is nothing less than a call to become like God. It is about being gathered up into what the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are. And it is the human life of God that began this process. God loved us enough to become one of us so that we may be one with him by being valued as the persons of the Trinity value each other.
Is true life available to us? The world, by itself, cannot rescue us from the grave. Yet the grave cannot contain God. He is the Lord of graves. He has true (or full) life, as he shows us by his Son’s resurrection.
God’s Son (and, therefore, God himself) wants us to share in his lordship over death. He wants us to share in his true life. For he wants us to be united with him and to enjoy what he is about at the core of his being.
Let Him who loves us enough to promise us eternal life be your courage and strength. Now, that’s out of this world.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, give me the strength of Your conviction. Give me clarity in my mission and help me to serve You unwaveringly in all things. May I never cower when faced with the challenges of life but always deepen my resolve to serve You with all my heart. Jesus, I trust in You”
At the last supper when Jesus blessed the cup of wine, he gave it to his disciples saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Jesus was pointing to the sacrifice he was about to make on the cross, when he would shed his blood for us – thus pouring himself out and giving himself to us – as an atoning sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the world.
The cross we must take up every day is not the misfortune that befalls us or the heaviness that weighs us down, but rather the cross of the Gospel, the Good News, the cross is the certainty of being loved for all time, the security of having been forgiven.