The “Bread of Life” discourse is coming to a conclusion this weekend. John has been unfolding the meaning of Jesus as the bread of life that came directly from heaven – sent by the Father. Now it is time for decision-making. The invitation to life via the Bread calls for a choice: acceptance or refusal. Acceptance presupposes commitment.
In the first reading Joshua lays the choice before the Israelites: “Choose today whom you wish to serve.” They can chose the one, true God or the gods that entice them with short-term attractions. In the Gospel Jesus does not mitigate his statements about the Bread that came down from heaven in any way but insists all the more: “My flesh is the real food and my blood is the real drink” … Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you”. Jesus then leaves the decision to the people – to accept him and his “hard saying” or to refuse. Most of them refuse him because they are offended. Since then the gospel of Jesus has been offending people on a regular basis for more than 2000 years.
There are two birds that fly over our nation’s deserts: One is the hummingbird and the other is the vulture. The vultures find the rotting meat of the desert, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants. The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking for. We all do.
One thing is for sure: WE GET WHAT WE LOOK FOR.
Have a wonderful week of choosing God from all other options.
– Fr. Abe