“Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.”
Jesus tells the people who have come to him with questions that he is the bread of life and that whoever feeds on him will live forever! This is a strange teaching, and not all of the people who heard it could accept it. Can you blame them? It is quite unusual for a teacher to say that whoever eats their flesh will live. When they heard this, some people turned away, saying they could not accept this teaching.
Yet this mystery that we cannot explain rationally is at the heart of the sacrament of communion, the Lord’s Supper. Symbolically we eat and drink the body and blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord, because we accept that he is the one whom God has given to provide us salvation and eternal life. Jesus knows that some people will find this offensive, but he isn’t bothered by that. He promises that the Spirit gives life and that the words he has spoken are “full of the Spirit and life” (John 6:63).
Even today these words are hard to explain. They only make sense in the context of faith when we, like Simon Peter, say, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Lord Jesus, your words are “full of the Spirit and life.” Help us not to be afraid or alarmed when some people find your words offensive, but enable us to trust your word completely, to feed on you, and to receive the eternal life that only you can give. Amen.
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