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Showing posts with label The Bread of Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Bread of Life. Show all posts

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A Homily – John 6:41-51 ©

The Gospel According to John – 2018.08.12

The Way and the Message

The gospel reading for today is replete with theological errors, it could be a case study in the misapplication of metaphor.

The reading uses the metaphor suggesting that Jesus is the bread of life, like the mana that fell from heaven when the Jews wandered in the desert, only Jesus, as the bread of life, is different. Jesus as the bread of life feeds the spirit, not the body, and its life giving properties are not of this world but of the world to come. Jesus as the bread gives eternal life.

In the final verse the gospel writers link the bread which Jesus represents with the cult of animal sacrifice, this is a mistake, wherever it occurs. The cult of animal sacrifice, bloodletting, killing, it has no redemptive value in and of itself. There is no magic in it, God, the creator of the universe does not savor the scent of burning flesh.

The bread that Jesus offers is not his flesh, it is his teaching, the presentation of the way, a mode of being that leads to a society of justice, one that is tempered by law, and seeks the good of every individual.

To eat the bread of life, is to incorporate this teaching into your own life, for your benefit, and for the benefit of everyone.

When the gospel writers get bogged down in the vain effort to prove the authority of Jesus, by appealing to his sonship, instead of the simple authority of his teaching, they are on the wrong track.

The authority of Jesus is measured by its truthful commitment to his community, to compassion and to mercy.

Do not pay attention to the excuse making the gospel writers often engage in. When they tell you that no one come to Jesus except by the will of God, they are making justifying their failure to effectively communicate the real message in Jesus ministry:

That God love you, and us, and we, all together, and that to serve God, we must do the same.

Anyone Who Eats this Bread Will Live Forever

The Jews were complaining to each other about Jesus, because he had said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ ‘Surely this is Jesus son of Joseph’ they said. ‘We know his father and mother. How can he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?’

Jesus said in reply, ‘Stop complaining to each other. ‘No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets:

They will all be taught by God, and to hear the teaching of the Father, and learn from it,
is to come to me. Not that anybody has seen the Father, except the one who comes from God: he has seen the Father.

I tell you most solemnly, everybody who believes has eternal life. ‘I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert and they are dead; but this is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Homily – John 6:24-35 ©

The Gospel According to John – 2018.08.05

The Way, and Belief

There is a lot to parse in the gospel reading for today, the most salient matter is this.

God, the creator of the universe is the author of all life. We do not come to life by believing in it, we are already alive, God has made us.

God has made us for everlasting life. We do not acquire everlasting life through the power of our belief, we are endowed with it because God has prepared us for it.

Jesus calls us to have faith in this proposition, and by this to free ourselves from our present fears. In this way we are able to love one another and care for our brothers and sisters.

A just society is not possible without it.

Jesus does not call on us to believe in his name, or his titles or his powers, Jesus calls on us to believe in Gods plan for creation, to believe that it is good, just and merciful, and to act in accordance with those beliefs, and that is the bread of life.

I am the Bread of Life

When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’

Jesus answered:

‘I tell you most solemnly, you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.

Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life,
the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.’

Then they said to him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’ Jesus gave them this answer, ‘This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.’ So they said, ‘What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’

Jesus answered:

‘I tell you most solemnly, it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread; for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’

‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’

Jesus answered:

‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.’

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Homily – John 6:51 - 58 ©

The Gospel According to John – 2017.06.18

The Sacrament

The eucharist is not magical food.

Eating the bread and drinking the wine does not confer the gift of eternal life,

Christians do a disservice to the memory of Jesus when they use the eucharist to divide people from one another, splitting them into groups of insiders and outsiders.

The eucharist is not the flesh and blood of Jesus. Transubstantiation, consubstantiation, these are ridiculous arguments, based on false premises, and a fundamentally flawed view of the world, cosmologically, soteriologically and teleologically.

The eucharist may only be seen as a sacrament insofar as it fulfills the ministry of Jesus, which is always the fostering of hope, through the loving service we provide to one another.

The bread and the wine are the flesh and blood of the church, literally feeding the members through the gifts of the members, shared at the common table.

The church is the body of Christ, and the communal sharing, the gift of bread, that is the sacrament. It is the visible sign of the sacred mystery of God’s love for us.

The Bread of Life

Jesus said to the Jewish 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."

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time