How can this man give us his flesh to eat? He must be crazy. Some of the things he is saying are just too hard to believe. Such were the thoughts and comments of those who had been with Jesus as he explained to them that he is the bread of life. The crowd could not open their minds to accept that God indeed sent his Son, this Jesus of Nazareth, into the world to save it. Their earthly desires would not yield to Jesus’ words of Spirit and truth.
Such questions remain today. How can this bread and wine become Jesus’ body and blood? How does this simple eating and drinking bring the forgiveness of sins? Becoming so intertwined with such thought misses the central teaching of the Gospel. Jesus is the bread of life come down from heaven. Unless you eat of the bread of life you have no life in you.
It isn’t the eating and drinking of the bread and wine that gives life. It is the presence of Christ, realized through the gift of faith and done in connection with God’s promise of salvation. Even as the crowd finally gave up on Jesus, the twelve understood and believed. Through faith, God revealed to them that Jesus indeed is the Messiah. It is through this same faith that we come to believe and receive God’s grace.
Prayer: Dearest Jesus, you are the Christ. You have the words of eternal life. Amen.