Longing for the Bread of Life

This week the Church has proclaimed Jesus’ “Bread of Life Discourse” (John 6:22-59).  Years ago, a wise parishioner shared with me his passion for this passage and his passion for the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist; he reads this passage every day.  Every day.  I remember being so moved by his faith that I too began reading it everyday, for a few days.  Then I let it slip away.  This morning I received a text from a friend who is similarly moved by the profound witness of Jesus in the “Bread of Life Discourse.”  His excitement over this most beautiful gift from God ended with this wise and humorous insight: “immediately following Jesus’ ‘Bread of Life Discourse’ was the first ‘Mic Drop’ in recorded history.”  Yesterday I went for a walk in the woods and carried with me one phrase from yesterday’s portion of the passage in the Gospel, “whoever eats this bread will live forever.”  it brought me to tears, filled me with joy and so connected me to God’s desire to live eternally in communion with us that I could hardly contain myself.  And this morning, we heard the conclusion of the discourse, including these emphatic words, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.”  

God so desires your love that he sent his only son into the world that you might have life.  God so desires your love that he has offered his only begotten son on the cross for you; gathering even sin and death into himself on the cross, which is now revealed as tree of life, transforming even sin and death into God’s glory.  God so desires your love that he has invited you to become his beloved spouse, sealing the marriage bond in the wedding feast of the lamb, where sharing the very body, blood, soul and divinity of his dearly beloved son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, for the atonement of your sins and those of the whole world, God brings forth his Kingdom, the Heavenly Jerusalem, fully present in the celebration of the Eucharist.  

When we celebrate the Eucharist, we are not “going to Church.”  When we celebrate the Eucharist we participate in the coming together of heaven and earth.  We are nourished by the fruit of the Tree of Life which is medicine for the nations (Rev 22:2).  And we become the body and blood of Christ; we become healing and peace for the life of the world.  Our nourishment from the Eucharist is not in preparation for heaven when we die; when we eat his body and drink his blood, we have eternal life, NOW.

Let us continue in prayer for healing, peace, holiness and wisdom as we continue to journey through this pandemic which is a real sharing in the suffering of Christ.  Let our love grow, let our life in this world be surrendered, let our eyes be opened to the depths of God’s love, let us trust our own resurrection life, let us long for communion which we will celebrate together in the Eucharist, soon and very soon.  Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. 

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