Jesus said to the crowd:
‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give is my flesh,
for the life of the world.’
Then the Jews started arguing with one another:
‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said.
Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh
and drink my blood has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread
will live for ever.’
Gospel for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
You have to feel for the crowd and ‘the Jews’. What Jesus says seems almost calculated to offend and confuse; and it does, as the crowd rises to the bait.
Yet, in fact, Jesus speaks to disabuse them of their sense of security in themselves alone and their settled ways, and keep them from him.
He speaks to lead them to life. He speaks to draw them to himself.
He is sacrifice for them and for us – is necessary sacrifice for them and us.
Icon. Nantes. (c) 2016, Allen Morris