Fr. Roman's message
We are reflecting this Sunday on the fourth of five parts of the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Each of these five parts include people who complain, murmur, question or quarrel about one thing or another. Today’s focal question is how Jesus can give His flesh to eat.
We observe that Jesus uses some form of the word “life” nine times in today’s Gospel passage. The last words of today’s passage are “live forever”. Jesus wants us to experience the fullness of life and love while we walk on the earth as well as after we are transformed into the unique life of eternity.
Jesus is clearly talking about the kind of relationship He wants all of His followers to enjoy. Once again He uses the words “I AM” to speak of His being living bread. These two words were used in the Old Testament, especially when Moses asked God who he should say sent him to deliver God’s people from the slavery of Egypt. God said to Moses that he was to say “I AM” sent him. The people used these words because if they dared to think that they knew and understood God, they thought they would experience great tragedy.
Besides, God is eternally present. Jesus makes clear that the Father has sent Him; it is because of the Father that Jesus has life. When we allow the goodness and kindness of our Savior to be present within and for us, we also will have life. Jesus is talking about how one achieves the deepest level of intimacy with Himself and therefore with the Father. Jesus is inviting us into a relationship like no other, one in which we experience the fullness of life here on earth as well as in eternal life.
This relationship and intimacy comes about and is nourished as we allow the Real Presence of Jesus to dwell within us, to nurture us, and to give us what we need to be living bread for one another. Jesus asks us to do our small part which is two-fold: being aware of Jesus’ dwelling within us and by consciously taking within our bodies the very being of Jesus by which we are slowly transformed into the person of Jesus.
A significant part of our transformation is our coming to the point where we more consistently and continuously grow in awareness that nothing is as important to us as our communion with Jesus. Our first and second readings call us to be simple, to forsake the foolishness of putting our hope in anyone or anything but the love of God made present to us in the Body and Blood of our Savior.
Our second reading states well how we are to make the most of all opportunities by reflecting on what it means for us to be intimately loved by Jesus and our Heavenly Father. By sharing in the Body and Blood of Jesus we become more like Jesus and just as He did, we come to understand the will of the Father.
Our second reading directs us to become more and more conscious of the Real Presence of Jesus by giving thanks always and for everything that we are blessed with because of our being in Jesus. This is the goal of our lives: to be nurtured by the real person of Jesus so that we become more like Him to the degree that people experience through us the reality of true love.