August 19, 2012: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to the crowds: “I 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.” 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.” (John 6:51-58)
Here we go again! The gospels this month seem dedicated to challenging us to believe in what Jesus was saying. The Jews are speechless about it–and actually I think most of would have been too. The message about the Eucharist is not an easy one, and even though we have grown up with it, and live in a time when it has been around for centuries, it is still a message filled with awe.
Take a piece of paper and write down quickly what you think about the Eucharist. What is hard about it? What is easy about it? What would you say to Jesus about it if you could talk with him about it? Then put that paper away for a while–we’ll come back to it later.