Friday, April 19, 2013

“The one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” (John 6: 57)

The scandalous words of Jesus strike the Jews.  John in his Gospel defines Jews as those opposed to Jesus.  It was the group made up of Pharisees, Sadducees, and Levites who love to provoke Jesus so that they can accuse Him with His own words.  Just saying that He had come down from Heaven was already a dangerous assertion, but to add to that the metaphorical bread of which He speaks as His own body is way beyond acceptance.  Here we arrive at the climax of the hardness of the conflict with the Jews and the demands of the words of Jesus.

Jesus proposes a relationship that does not accept falsehood but one that compromises itself.  The word ‘compromise’ in many languages does not have primarily negative connotations.  It is not synonymous with denial, or with facile conciliation.  It means involvement, a responsibility that touches us personally, in our body, our mind, our heart, our time, our possessions, and our places.  It is the content of the new covenant.  It does not unload onto animal sacrifices the commitment of reciprocal love that ties God and His creatures.  The sacrifice is spiritual.  The body offered is that of Jesus and then in Him, all believers who offer themselves to God in this way and are pleasing to Him.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will ponder this great mystery of the Eucharist in which I truly ‘eat’ my Lord who has given Himself for me, and I will renew my belief in Jesus’ words. 

"Lord, I receive You in the Eucharist with much love and I want to be always more like You and in You."