The Good News for the day, April 19, 2018
Thursday in the Third Week of Easter (276)
Jesus addresses the public: “No one can come toward me unless the Father who has sent me attracts that person, and I will lift that person on the last day. It is written in the prophetic books of the Bible: “Everyone shall be taught by God.” Everybody who listens to my Father—and learns from him—comes to me. Not that anyone has in fact seen the Father—except for someone who does come from God. Such a person has seen the Father. The truth is: anyone believing HAS permanent life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna out there in the desert, but they did die. THIS, though, is the bread that comes down from the Other World, so that anyone may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that has come down from the Other World; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will be giving is my mortal flesh for the life of the world.“ (John 6)
Jesus likes to challenge people to think—he offers paradoxes. Last is first. Greatest is least. Boss is servant. Those challenge you to reflect and recognize deeper truths—the spiritual life which is more than just living. These paradoxes challenge you to change.
It is the same here. Jesus offers something daily and digestible to give you something that is permanent and transcendent. He speaks of himself as the “bread” of “life.”
The “bread” is his mortality—the coming-and-going that forms the essence of bread. it is here; it is gone. Any bread beyond today becomes “less” edible—stale, tasteless and eventually worthless. Yet—for thousands of years, some form of bread has been the “staff of life”—the day-to-day nourishment in its countless forms—bagels and donuts, cakes and loaves, biscuits and muffins, whole wheat and oatmeal, potato and raisin breads. These breads help us picture the point of Jesus.
You eat it and you live. Simple.
You “eat”—digest, absorb, take in—Jesus and his Spirit—and you live. The bread becomes you—and paradoxically you become like the bread—you “come and go”—if you don’t work to stay “alive,” you harden into something useless. If you fail to stay nourished, to keep on growing, you become a dead, useless thing.
You learn this lesson—its importance—from God. What is the lesson, though, the reality beyond the poetry? In Jesus, you find you continue loving (& learning to grow in love)—you continue to be truthful (& learning to grow in truth)—you are humble (& learning to grow in humility), you serve, and learning to grow in service….
The reality is what you do. The Good News is how you grow up being nourished and changing, your life becoming the Flesh-Life of Jesus and His Immortal Spirit.