Monday, July 24, 2006

John 6:53

"...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you" (Jn 6:53).

3 Comments:

At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Pete S said...

Posting this controversial and thought-provoking quote without any explanation... I like the mysteriousness, and it got me going.

This quote always makes me uncomfortable. And it is not so much that it makes me look at Jesus as intolerant or non-understanding, it doesn't. More, this quote out of context and sight of the big picture of Jesus' entire message of love and forgiveness for all people, can cause undue intolerance, bigotry toward those who have not recieved the holy eucharist.

While participation in the sacrament is essential and unbelievably important, many trust too much in the ritual. Quotes like these which support the necessity of the sacraments all too easily lead to overconfidence and complaceny about participation, when the truth is that there should be a human interaction and feeling of trust and love present, not just a self-confident churchgoer going through rote motions to achieve salvation.
Of course, everyone has their days when they don't get into it, but there is danger in people not making an effort to understand what they are recieving, in not truly trying to be grateful to Christ, but only to eat the species placed into their hands as a way to surely have life within themselves.

Jesus strongly wants us to partake in the Eucharist, since it is His greatest gift to us, due to its coupling with His Passion. But its vibrant life-giving nature by no means makes us better people than those who, for whatever reason, have never taken part in the eucharist. And Christ, while willing to do anything to save us and help us, eternally loving us, did not give us this gift so that we might recieve it passively and consider it a done deal- He wants an active relationship with us, an effort on our side to participate in the Eucharist in a way beyond sitting in pews for an hour and waiting in line to eat Him. Sacraments are "an outward sign of an inward grace," and while this quote is true and its restating commendable, it bears to keep in mind that the wording of this quote makes us too easily confer a high level of importance to the outward sign (eating the flesh and drinking the blood) and forget about the more important inward grace it represents.

All in all, nice quote, I just got to thinking and felt like typing it up as a comment.

 
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