Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Aug 02, 2012 | Comments (0)

Pentecost XI John 6:35, 41-51

"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."


What we think rationally is irrelevant.

How we think is relevant.

This scripture is a good example of the difference between rational and spiritual understanding.

The rational could not understand how Jesus could be the Bread of life. For them, "bread" meant the "manna" that God gave during the Exodus. How could a person be bread? Jesus makes the compare and contrast difference.

John 6:49: "Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven."

Then they began to complain about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." They asked, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I have come down from heaven?'"

Rational understanding is physical thinking. In rational thinking "up" and "down" are positional and in the spiritual thinking "up" and "down" are conditional.

The condition is either "in" or "out" of the Presence.

John 8:23: "You are from below; I am from above."

"Up" is spiritual.  "Down" is worldly.

You are coming from this rational world; I am not coming from this rational but the spiritual world of thinking.

No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father. Spiritual understanding is conscious wondering. We cannot come to the Father with rational thinking. We are drawn by the Father by conscious wondering.

"It is written in the prophets, 'and they shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me."  In the conscious Presence of God's Love, we receive a Wisdom we never can have when rationally out of the Presence.

Jesus then shook them all up when He added, "so that one may eat of it and not die." Jesus did this purposely to get them to understand the difference between the rational and the spiritual. The rational is repulsed by the idea of eating flesh and drinking blood. It ran against their whole being and religion.

To eat spiritual things means they have to be digested inwardly. We know the Presence of Jesus is always in all of us. We also should know we are all not always in His Presence. To eat His body is to remember to open our heart, not our head, through wondering, not thinking, of His Presence (spiritual Presence, Body and spiritual Life Blood) that is with us. At the Eucharist, we are told to "feed on Him in our hearts by faith and with Thanksgiving." Spiritual eating is feeding on Him in our heart, not our head. This is the meaning of abiding in Him and He in us.

We use both the rational and the spiritual understanding.

The difference is which one comes first.  Out of the Presence our rational understanding creates our spiritual feelings.  Abiding in the Presence, our feeling of the Presence creates our rational understanding.

What we think is irrelevant. How we think is what is relevant. What feeling did your rational understanding create in your last conflict you had with someone? Do you wonder how your rational wisdom would change as a result of the feeling of abiding in the Presence of His Love?


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