12th Sunday of Pentecost
Scripture: St. John 6:51-59
We may take it in a quite general sense that Jesus spoke about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The flesh of Jesus was His full humanity. If Jesus had come only in His flesh and not of God, where would we be today? Certainly not attending a worship service in His heavenly house.
The spirit that denies that Jesus came only in the flesh is the antichrist. Jesus insists that we must cluster, grasp, and never let go of the full humanity of Christ.
“Jesus was bone of our bones and flesh of our flesh.” What does that mean? Jesus, as we have encountered Him, was – is – the Mind of God, who fully became human. In other words, God was in the flesh, living among us here on earth.
He took all the failures of our human life. He endured all our human situations, struggled with our human problems, and endured our human temptations, working out our human relation with Him
It is as if Jesus said, “Feed your heart, mind, and grace out of my manhood.” Jesus took all the pitfalls of our human life upon Himself. Suddenly, life and flesh are shod with the glory of God where they had been touched with God’s living presence.
It was and is the great belief of the Greek Orthodox Christology that Jesus defined our flesh by taking it on Himself. To eat Jesus Christ’s body is to feed on the thought of Jesus Christ’s manhood until our manhood is strengthened and cleaned and purified by Him. But John meant more than what he was thinking at the Lord’s Supper. He was saying:
“If you want life, you must come and eat at the table and drink of the cup of wine, which somehow is the grace of God, bringing you into a redeemed, loved, relationship with Christ Jesus, the Son of the Living God.”
We cannot draw on the fullest of the Christian life in words unless we sit at the table of love. It is here that the sacrament is a special appointment with our God. He felt in His heart that at every meal in the humblest home or the greatest mansion beneath the canopy of the sky with only the grass we celebrate the Lord’s sacrament. John refused to limit the presence of God to an ecclesiastical environment and a collective liturgy. He believed that we can find Christ anywhere in a Christ-filled world.
Lord, God, help us as we have slipped away way too far in our society. Take from us all activities that stand in the way of a redeeming fellowship with You. Amen!