Saturday, August 11, 2012

Flesh for the Life of the World

Flesh for the Life of the World

August 12, 2012
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2012 B
By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ
After [Elijah] ate and drank, he lay down again, but the angel of the LORD came back a second time, touched him, and ordered, "Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!"  He got up, ate, and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.  2 Kings 19:7-8
So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.  Ephesians 5:1-2
"I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."  John 6:48-51


Accepting Jesus as the bread that came down from heaven is the rock bottom of our piety.  Jesus is the eternal word of God’s love for us.  Love is the gift of one’s life to another.  Jesus loves us to such an extent that he holds back nothing of himself.  He gives us his body and his blood.  He promises us that if we accept him, he will speak for us to the Father.  He gives us his life to such an extent that the Father sees his Son in us.  The Ancestors of the Jews ate the manna in the desert and they died.  If we accept the gift of the life of Jesus we will never die.  We will live forever in the love he has for us.  Jesus has given us his flesh for the life of the world.


We accept the challenge of Paul in Ephesians not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God.  All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting and reviling we get rid of with all our love.  Malice can have no place in our dealings with others.  We must be compassionate and forgiving of one another even as Christ is forgiving of us.  We study how best to imitate Christ.  Christ loved us and handed himself over as a sacrifice for us to the Father.   Christ’s love on the cross is the human expression of the fullness of God’s love for us.  So we must offer our lives for one another.  Christ shows us how to give of ourselves.  All that he is he has received from the Father.  He gives all of himself to us even as the Father has given to Christ all that he is.  Christ is the Word of love of the Father for all of us.  Christ loves us even as the Father has loved him.  He challenges us to love one another even as he has loved us.  He shares all that the Father has given him with us.  He asks us to learn how to share ourselves for the sake of our neighbors.


It is the Father who draws us to Christ.  We must embrace what Christ says to us with all our hearts.  There is and can be no doubt in our hearts that Christ has come down from heaven.  Even as God has created us out of nothing in the creation of our world, He creates new life in Mary and Mary becomes the mother of Christ and the Mother of God in the same moment.  Jesus is one person with two natures Mary as the mother of the human nature of Christ becomes mother of each and every one of us since we are created to the image and likeness of God in Christ.  How we respond to Eucharist is the challenge to our piety.  To make up our minds to go to frequent communion is the beginning of new life.  Christ takes us into himself even as we take him into ourselves.  We grow n Christ’s life within us each time we communicate.  Christ becomes our real life.  We become his life in our world today.  Eucharist makes us into the hands and the feet of Christ.  The Sacraments are the human continuation of Christ on earth in each of us.  We live our destiny when we share Christ with each other.  Sharing Christ makes us Eucharist to our world. 

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