This week we reach the final part of Jesus' discourse on the bread of life (John 6:56-71
). It has been a difficult five weeks for us as we have tried to understand exactly what Jesus has been talking about - him being the bread of life and eating and drinking his body and blood. If we have had trouble, imagine what the crowds, the Jewish leaders and the disciples have had to go through! The disciples are right when they say, "this teaching is difficult". Many who were following Jesus decided to say "thanks but no thanks - I'm going to bail now" and left.
So really this week is all about choices. On the one hand there is the choice to abandon our devotion to God and God’s ways. In the Gospel, many of Jesus’ followers find his call to be completely united with him – to believe that he is the source of life and to take him into their beings (eating his flesh and drinking his blood) – too much to handle and they abandon Jesus. But, his disciples, although they may be feeling like they want to go, recognize that life is found in Christ and so remain faithful "You have the words of eternal Life".
In the Old Testament semi-continuous reading (1 Kings 8
), Solomon prays and pleads with God to hear and answer the prayers of all who pray toward the Temple. The theme this week is simple and clear: everyday we will be faced with the choice to remain faithful to Christ or to turn away, and we will need the intimacy with God that comes through prayer and through sharing in the life of Christ to remain true to our calling as those whom Jesus choses.
So come this week and share in the the meal whereby Christ gives himself freely for all to take and eat. Come be strengthened to remain faithful to Christ. Come, that leaving you may share the Good News in your words and deeds.