Gospel Reflection for August 26, 2012, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

21 Aug

Sunday Readings: Joshua 24.1-2, 15-17, 18; Ephesians 5.21-32; John 6.60-69

“The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

John 6.63

Jesus’ words in last Sunday’s gospel jar his disciples.  “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 and I will raise them up on the last day.”  Jesus invites them into a new, extraordinary relationship with him, a transformation he alone holds the power to work in us.

Yet, standing fully in the world of the ordinary, the disciples cannot enter into this new reality.  They take Jesus’ words literally.  They stand in ordinary time and grumble.  The teaching is too difficult, too unlikely, too unbelievable.  Jesus challenges them by asking if they would believe if they lesson were more dramatic, like ascending to heaven?

Hearing this, some disciples realize they just aren’t getting it and turn away.

What do you find dizzying or jarring in Jesus’ teaching?

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