17 Aug 20th Sunday
Dear OLPH Family and Friends,
Today we continue the beautiful reality of our faith that Jesus intends for us to become one with Him just as we become one with the food we eat. The first reading takes a more poetic approach to a similar theme: “Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed! Forsake foolishness that you may live: advance in the way of understanding.”
As with last Sunday, Psalm 34 invites us to “taste and see the goodness of the Lord. God however invites to do more than “taste.” He invites us to become one with Him forever.
Ephesians tells us that true wisdom praises God, the source of all goodness. It urges all to give thanks to the Father in the name of Jesus for everything.
In the Gospel, Jesus connects eating and drinking to a new life within the believer brought about by Jesus. This life is sustained through the indwelling and abiding presence of Jesus within the believer. Three times in today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, even insisting that doing so is necessary for our spiritual life: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” Throughout the Gospel, Jesus tells the gathered crowds, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” Throughout the Gospel of John, remaining in Jesus is perhaps the most important duty of a disciple. Later in the Gospel, Jesus will use the word “remain” 12 times in 17 verses in the parable of the true vine (John 15:1-17).
The difference between the Bread of Life that Jesus gives us and ordinary bread is beyond comparison. When we eat other bread, that bread becomes a part of us. It enters our body and changes into us. When we eat the Bread of Life, just the opposite happens. It doesn’t change into us; we change into it. It transforms us into what it is: the Body of Christ. And this is why, if we eat it, we will live forever. By eating the Body of Christ, we are transformed into Christ, who will live forever.
Wisdom and Jesus both invite us to the banquet of Life. Will we foolishly choose anything less?
Only God can and does offer us eternal life. May we in his wisdom respond with an eager “yes!” May we hear his invitation to live forever! Peace and blessings!