Father James Swanson, LC
John 6: 52-59
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." These things he said while
teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Introductory Prayer: Lord,
I believe that you are present here and now
as I turn to you in prayer. I trust and
have confidence in your desire to give me every
grace I need to receive today. Thank you for your
love, thank you for your immense generosity toward me.
I give you my life and my love in
Petition: Lord, help me to face challenges and continue
to follow you in faith.
1. What is it I
Truly Seek? On the preceding day Jesus multiplied loaves
and fishes to feed the multitude. The Jews realize
there is something special here, that Jesus may be the
Messiah, or at least a prophet. They are curious
enough to continue following him and asking him questions.
They have liked everything he has said up till now.
Some of it they have not understood completely or
correctly, but it has been close enough to what
they are used to hearing that it causes them no
great difficulty. They continue to ask questions, looking for
understanding, especially understanding they can be comfortable with. What
is my attitude when I question Our Lord about
events and challenges in my life? Am I seeking to
understand so I can embrace God’s plan better, or
does my response depend on how much I comprehend?
Our Horizons: Now Jesus has said something truly shocking.
He wants them to eat his flesh and drink his
blood! Up to this point, most of the crowd
has been willing to accept him as a bread-provider.
He fed them yesterday. Maybe, if they hang around long
enough, he will do it again. Their ideas about
the Messiah are too materialistic, based only on the
re-establishment of David’s Kingdom at the expense of the
Romans. Jesus, on the other hand, wants to take them
to a new level. He wants to take them
into the mystery of the loving generosity of God.
As good as the manna in the wilderness was, he
wants to give something much better. As wonderful as
David’s Kingdom was, he wants to give a greater
kingdom. This is so far beyond what they are
looking for, they will not be able to understand what
he is offering. It will have to be accepted
3. Great Gifts Come in Small Packages: We
can understand many things, even many spiritual things. In his
goodness, God has given us intelligence so that we
can understand some of the truths about him. But
these simpler truths don’t reveal the full glory of God.
They are not as fulfilling as some of the
more important truths about him. Jesus wants to give
his flesh to eat and his blood to drink. He
reveals this to the crowds, and since they lack
faith, they don’t understand. Some straggle off to find
another “wonder-worker”. Others, looking for understanding, go off to look
for a “teacher” who makes sense to them. Hopefully,
some are looking for the revelation of the mysteries
of God, the greatest gifts that God can offer. They
are not looking to fill their stomachs or their
minds. They are looking to fill their hearts. These
are the kinds of gifts that Jesus intends to give
– and in abundance.
Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord,
so often I am looking for material gifts from you.
Help me to realize that the greatest gifts you
give may be beyond my understanding. Yet, if I
am willing to accept them on faith, they will fill
my heart. Perhaps with time, it will be possible
for me to understand something of them as well,
but greatness of faith lies in my trusting in you.
Resolution: What spiritual gift I am most in need
of? Faith? Charity? Humility? Something else? Today I will
set aside some time to ask God in prayer to
grant me that gift.