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April 16, 2016

Friday of the third week of Easter

The good news for the Day

Many of the people learning from Jesus heard this and said, “This saying is hard to take; who can listen to it?” Since Jesus knew these people were talking about this, he addressed them, “Does this cause you problems?” (John 6, 60)

What would cause you to reconsider following Jesus? Seriously give thought to going another way—find attraction in Buddhism, a nature-worship, or drop religion altogether? What is so hard here?

The challenge is this business of absorbing Jesus. Not just taking Communion, not just believing spiritually in Christianity. Not assenting to Jesus as Lord and Savior, not just admitting Jesus did rise from the dead. These are relatively easy affirmations. They are healthy signs of a love of God, and faith in the Gospel, but they are not really a challenge to you.

The challenge, it seems to me, is DOING the Life of Jesus daily. The courage to offer healing to others, the patience of eliminating your exasperations, and the humility of asking forgiveness. You eat his flesh—his weakness, his daily grind, and his involvement with good and bad people. THAT is what those people realized he meant. However signified by rituals and words—it comes down to what you DO.

You eat him. You drink him. He becomes you. You become him. You share his cross—the insults, the misunderstandings, the misery, the shame in front of family. You share His resurrection—the peace, the forgiveness, the power—and new misunderstandings. Others don’t “get” you—and that becomes a very hard thing indeed. It is hard for them to take. But you remain kind, firm, and loving—and it radiates. Some do get it. You find allies and colleagues to whom your respect and peace registers. Others rant and exclude and put you in their list to be silent towards. No matter.

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