Sunday, August 23, 2009

"I am the Bread of Life" That is hard to believe

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Last Sunday's Gospel John 6:54-59
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.
Today's Gospel John 6:66 [WOW!]

  • As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

Some devout Jews found the "Bread of Life" discourse difficult to handle because of this from the Torah:

Leviticus 17:10-14
And if anyone, whether of the house of Israel or of the aliens residing among them, partakes of any blood, I will set myself against that one who partakes of blood and will cut him off from among his people. Since the life of a living body is in its blood, I have made you put it on the altar, so that atonement may thereby be made for your own lives, because it is the blood, as the seat of life, that makes atonement. That is why I have told the Israelites: No one among you, not even a resident alien, may partake of blood. "Anyone hunting, whether of the Israelites or of the aliens residing among them, who catches an animal or a bird that may be eaten, shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. Since the life of every living body is its blood, I have told the Israelites: You shall not partake of the blood of any meat. Since the life of every living body is its blood, anyone who partakes of it shall be cut off.

From Creo en Dios:
  • I’m not sure which of two aspects is more extraordinary about this passage: the fact that Jesus had the integrity to speak the truth here, knowing how many followers it would cost him, or the fact that the Twelve remained when so many others left. It would have been so easy for Jesus to mince words, to speak in a parable that might mask the shocking reality of what he told them. But he speaks clearly, saying exactly what he means, despite the cost.

    And it would have been equally easy for the Twelve to desert him. But Peter answers for all of them (and, in some sense for all of us when the path seems unclear) when Jesus asks if they plan to leave Him also: where else would be go. “To whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life.”
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