Sunday, August 16, 2009

"For the Life of the World"

For a fourth consecutive Sunday, today's Gospel at Mass is a passage from the Gospel of John related to Christ as the "bread of life."

Today's passage uses language that certainly gives pause -- both because of the terminology used by Christ and because of what he is saying about salvation.

It's a passage that can be troubling -- or hope-filled, depending on your perspective.

For Catholics and some other Christian traditions, the passage helps to explain the belief in the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine used during Communion.

From John Chapter 6:

Jesus said to the crowds:

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

"For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.

"Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

Deacon Greg recalls a miracle in his homily for this Sunday. A Concord Pastor is asking a good question in his homily.

Fran has a reflection, too.

Monday Update: Missy has posted some good quotes on Sunday's Gospel at St. Anne, Pray for Us. This "Priest's Diary" entry by Fr. Victor Muzzin is worth a look as well.

The image above is from here.


St Edwards Blog said...

Thanks for the link. I really struggled to write more and it would not come.

I do worry that many do not fully embrace/realize exactly what real presence means and how that impacts us as Roman Catholics. It is essential to know.

A deacon I know (not Deacon Greg!) recently used the term flesh in a homily on this Gospel and he got some flack. More than one person said they were "uncomfortable" and that "flesh is gross."


Literalism takes it toll, does it not?


Anonymous said...

I like the way all of these pieces flow together.
I'm linking up.