Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 16: Year 2
“The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’” (John 6:52)
Again, the term, “the Jews,” simply means the temple authorities, for Jesus and all his followers were also Jews. Another point to bring out is that the use of this metaphor regarding the eating of his flesh is that Jesus was not suggesting cannibalism. He was inviting his followers to partake of holy food and drink that was taken by our Lord Jesus, blessed by our Lord Jesus and then divided up and shared with them. He took, blessed, broke and gave.
The last interesting part of this John passage is this: while the Synoptic Gospel accounts walk us through the Great Thanksgiving, or the Lord’s Supper, John’s Gospel story mentions being at the table only as an aside from the foot washing. However, much of the language of the Gospel of John speaks of the “Bread of Life.”
The Bible, specifically the Gospels, must be studied in prayer with people educated in the language and culture of the day of our Lord Jesus. Also, it needs to be known that as we read the Gospel like this one according to John, it was assumed that the Synoptic Gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) were already read and understood. Most scholars believe that John’s Gospel was the last written. Therefore the Gospel according to John filled in other details.
Jesus went on to say, “Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me” (John 6: 57). This means for you to be filled with our Lord Jesus so that Jesus works in you, and through you. In Church, at the Holy Eucharist, we believe that the Holy Spirit of Christ has come together with the bread and wine. You then, are not doing what you think you alone ought to do, but rather, you are the “host” of Jesus who is working through you. That is, you are the host (wafer or bread), that you just consumed. When we receive Holy Communion, all we need to do is get out of the way and let our Lord Jesus do his work through us. As the Gospel according to John points out, He will be in us and we in Him.
I pray that our Lord Jesus works through us to bring about peace in Ukraine.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John