Jesus is truly food for the life of the world
Reflections on the readings for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 19, 2018): PRV 9:1-6; PS 34:2-3,4-5,6-7; EPH 5:15-20; JN 6:51-58
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus, who is the Word of Life, again speaks of Himself as the Bread of Life. He wants us to accept His message of hope as the truth that will lead us to eternity.
We know now what the disciples listening to Jesus then did not realize, that He would sacrifice Himself on the altar of the cross for our salvation. Christ becomes specific, telling His followers that He is not only asking us to embrace His words with our hearts and minds, but also to consume Him – to take Him within our own bodies. “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” (John 6:55-57).
The concept of the Eucharist is almost unimaginable for people, even people of faith in Christ. That God could or would want to join His body, blood, soul and divinity to our body, blood, soul and humanity is possible only because God is love. That may seem too simple, even inadequate, but it is everything. The Father sent His Son to die for us, to share Himself with us. Now we can be united with Him on earth through the Eucharist, even as we prepare to live with Him in heaven forever.
Suggested missionary action: Let’s pay extra attention to the hymns we sing in church this week. We can pray them with our hearts as well as with our voices for the glory of God. And let us receive Communion with a deeper appreciation of His love.