PASTOR MATTHEW’S REFLECTIONS:
Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost
Today's gospel reading brings us even deeper into the Bread of Life discourse and into even more intense language about eating flesh and drinking blood. If one didn't know better this would sound like something out of a zombie movie. The people hearing this as Jesus was speaking it would have reacted in exactly that way. They would have been disgusted, scandalized, repulsed. What Jesus was talking about was anathema to Torah observant Jews, the ingestion of human blood and flesh...sacrilege!!
Beyond the admittedly bizarre language of it however is a truth about the lengths that God is ready to go to commune with God's own creation. God is like the nursing mother, giving of God's own substantial self so that God's children might be nourished, assured, encouraged and fortified. The nativity is more than peaceful pastoral manger scenes, it is the reality of the God of all that is, was and will be enfleshing Godself for the feeding of humanity...literally and substantially. This is unique to our (Christian) understanding of how God relates to God's own creation and I have never heard of a more powerful and compelling alternative.
Most of us have been away from the Eucharist for too long. I long for the opportunity to consecrate the bread and wine in the midst of you, God's people. Until that time comes please be encouraged in these words from John and in the wonderment of our God who nurses us with eternal food from God's own divine being.