Reading Reflections: Twentieth Sunday: Gospel Year B

By 10:54 AM


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.”

·         How dependent are we upon physical food to sustain our physical life? Do you see the connection between the real, spiritual food Jesus offers us to sustain our spiritual life?         

·         Why does he give us his flesh to eat and his blood to drink? The key word is “life.”       

            To live forever is not to remain on earth but to live eternally with God.

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

·         Why do you think the people had a hard time comprehending what Jesus was revealing?

·         Why do many people today have the same difficulty, even Catholics?   

·         Either he meant it or he didn’t?        

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.

·         Could Jesus make it any clearer what he was revealing to them? He didn’t say I will give you food that would be symbolic of my flesh, but I will give you my flesh to eat and my blood to drink.           

·         He gives us himself so that he can have intimacy with us and we with him, an intimacy that enters into union, not just closeness.         

·         How else can we experience life eternally if we don’t share in eternal life now, in his divine, eternal life now?     

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.

·         Jesus connects what he does with the plan and will of the Father for us. Why do you think he does this repeatedly?     

·         The ultimate desire of God for us is union with him. But this does not take place after death if it is not a reality in this life!     

·         He is not talking about human life but divine life.       

 This is the bread that came down from heaven.  Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

·         The bread of their ancestors was the manna in the desert that God provided during their 40 year sojourn. This was merely physical food that took care of their physical body.  This in itself was a miracle.  Jesus is talking about a far greater miracle.  Jesus is concerned about our life with God—our spiritual life.  He provides in the Eucharist the real food and drink—himself—to nourish our relationship with God now into eternity.  

·         Spend some time reflecting on this passage.   

·         What do you take from this passage and apply to you?

o        How will you approach the Eucharist this Sunday?     

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