Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Aug 09, 2012 | Comments (0)

Pentecost XII John 6:51-58

The Meaning of Spiritually Eating

The rational thinks about the physical to get understanding.

The conscious looks beyond the physical to get spiritual understanding.

This parable is the difference between what you think rationally and how you think spiritually.

Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

They disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" This is the right rational question to ask. But is that what He was referring to?

Jesus replies, "I tell you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life."

Life is both physical and spiritual. Jesus is referring to spiritual life not physical life. We have been created to be in communion with God. When we are out of communion we are like a fish out of water. We are not bad, or guilty. We are just going to die spiritually. Out of the Presence we are our old self. In the Presence we are our real self.

"My flesh is real (spiritual) food and my blood is real (spiritual) drink." The flesh is the Presence of Jesus that abides in us. The blood is the life of the Spirit that dwells in us. Things that are physical are not real. They all will die.  The real things are of the Spirit that never dies, such as Love, Peace, Joy, and life itself.

"Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them... whoever eats me will live because of me."

The Eucharist is for us to remember the four points of abiding. First of all, it is consecrated and set aside as the real spiritual Presence and Life of Jesus and His Spirit.

Second, we need to remember that the Presence and Spirit are already in us.

Third, we take the Eucharist to remind us that the Presence is already in us. Some wonder why we would take the Eucharist if we already have His Presence in us. Others who understand this truth wonder why not take it?

Fourth, we take, eat, and drink to remind us that while the Presence abides in us, we do not always abide in the Presence. Communion becomes practice time for us to wonder the difference it makes being in the Presence or not before taking communion and after leaving church.

Every time we wonder like this we take a spiritual communion. When was the last time you took communion?


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