20th Sunday of the Year (B) 2018

‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them.’
Todays Gospel reading is obviously about the Eucharist.
One can easily just think about receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, on this occasion, and miss the broader, the fuller meaning of Jesus’ words.
Jesus goes on to say; ‘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.’
I can receive the Eucharist on numerous occasions and still not be a good person.
So here Jesus is not just promoting reception of the Eucharist but promoting a way of life – a life in union with Jesus of Nazareth whose life is lived in union with God the Father.
So today’s reading must be understood in the context of all the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. As for example; ‘Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.’
The message of Christianity is ‘Immanuel’ – God with me.
Everything to do with religion must point towards, promote, bring about, accomplish, life in union with our God and Creator.
This is the message of the Bible. This is the message of every authentic religion.
How good I am at cherry picking for my own selfish ends, to promote my own political ambitions, to secure more control!
In the verses following todays Gospel reading we read; ‘Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, Does this shock you? …. It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.’
So everything concerning the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth must be understood in the context of spirit and life – the Spirit and the Life of God.
So religion is not just about doing but about being.
Doing stuff in religion is important; just as a means of transport is important so as to get to where you want to go. You utilise it to achieve an end.
The end is Immanuel. Living every day in the presence of and in union with God my Creator.