Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Picture yourself in the crowd of people gathered around Jesus. You are attracted to him and his teachings and impressed at the miracles he has performed. Then he says these words, “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.” Eat his flesh and drink his blood! How can this be? Would you remain or walk away?
We have centuries of theological teaching and prayerful reflection to help us with this core belief of our faith. This is still a problem for non-believers who can’t accept this as reality. There is no scientific explanation as to how bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus, and yet we believe. Can we struggle with this belief? Yes. Can we pray to deepen our faith? Yes. It helps when we realize that we are not literally eating flesh and drinking blood, but rather, we are being incorporated into Christ by assimilating his consciousness and then become Christ for others. As we eat the bread and drink the wine we must integrate the consciousness of Jesus and make it our own. When we eat this spiritual food it becomes part of us. It goes with us as we leave mass. We take it with us throughout the rest of our day. That sacred presence should be shared with others by the way we live our life.
Once again the reading from Ephesians tells us how to become the Eucharistic Christ for others.
Brothers and sisters: watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord. And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
Our loving creator God allows us to experience not the divinity of God, but in a very real way, Jesus’ humanity. How do you reflect this in your life?
In what ways do you come to appreciate the Eucharist in your life?