Twelfth Sunday After Pentacost: Week 15 in ordinary time

& archive, Year B.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You call us to come
To be with you,
And to learn trust, faith.
By your Spirit help me
To see you,
To hear your voice in the midst of trouble.
Help me to follow you in all of life,
To walk in the joy and freedom of the resurrection,
Indwelt and led  by your Pentecost Spirit.

Amen

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost: Week 15 in Ordinary Time

Again our lectionary guide invites us to stay in Capernaum. We are in the synagogue there as Jesus draws us more deeply into what he seeking to say about himself and how we come to truly know him. We may feel that Jesus is repeating what he has just said—and in many ways he is. With such repetition Jesus gives us a signal that what he is saying is of great importance. He calls us to pause and listen again – and again, with the heart.

Jesus talks to us about eating, eating the “living bread that comes down from heaven.” What we eat and digest becomes an integral part of our body. It becomes a part of us. Someone has said, “We are what we eat,” and there is a great deal of truth to that.

Jesus builds on this truth, and takes it further and deeper. He points to himself, and declares that he is this living bread. We are to eat him! Now we can stop right here and walk away – as did some persons hearing these words in the synagogue (v.66). Or we can pause in front of this saying and allow ourselves to be puzzled for a while.

What Jesus is drawing our attention towards is embodiment, incarnation. Just as he came among us – in a human body – so he desires to remain among us, embodied in us. Just as he embodied the Father’s presence within himself, so he desires that we embody his presence within us.

We receive a clue as to how this happens in the letter to the Ephesians: “ . . . be filled with the Spirit.” (5:18) We can fill ourselves with all kinds of things beyond physical food, seeking to satisfy that deep internal hunger which gnaws away within us ever since Eden. And depending on what we seek to satisfy ourselves with (work, activity, possessions, prestige, pleasure, money, education, friends, adventure, risk, etc.) those things or persons will shape our lives and who we are. We begin to embody them, but are never at rest or truly satisfied.  They do not lead to life (John 6:53).

Jesus offers us freedom and rest, deep satisfaction:  “my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” (v.55)  Here we discover true life.

It is this deep embodiment of Jesus within us – through the presence of the Spirit – that we find this unsatisfied hunger and thirst filled. The awful split away from our deepest self in God is now healed as God enters into the depth of our soul and dwells there (6:56). Now we begin to be led by the Spirit Jesus rather than driven by the many voices and demands of the world around us. And we discover life, real life.

This new life is no longer centered around our self. Our ego self becomes shaped around God. And it is out of this embodied life, indwelt by the Spirit of Christ, that we move out into the world. We are in the world, but no longer controlled by the world and it’s demands and systems. We find ourselves given – as Jesus gave himself – for the sake of the life of the world. Jesus desires that all will find this true food, true bread, true life.

This week allow these words of Jesus to indwell your mind and heart. Meditate on their content, and allow them to become a part of you.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help break open their meaning – to help you see and to become aware of Jesus living within you, and through you.

Prayer before reading:

Lord Jesus Christ,
You come to us
In the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit,
Help me to be aware of how you come,
To be hospitable to your help,
And  to your leading in the way of Jesus.

Amen

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost: Week 15 in Ordinary Time

  • 8/13      Monday: John 6:51-58
  • 8/14      Tuesday: John 6:51-58
  • 8/15      Wednesday: Psalm 111
  • 8/16      Thursday: 1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14
  • 8/17      Friday: Ephesians 5:15-20
  • 8/18      Saturday: John 6:51-58
  • 8/19      Sunday: John 6:51-58