I have spent this morning reflecting on this Sunday's Gospel reading from John 6:56-69. It's a challenging passage. I have read the passage in a Lecto Divina sort of way. Here are some intial observations:
1. Talk of eating flesh and blood - offensive. Clean/unclean laws - consuming blood
talk of having life - what does Jesus mean
2. Talk of bread from heaven - ref to Moses and Manna and God providing for the needs to Israel. More than physical needs though.
3. Bread - basic foodstuff. The stuff of life. Bread of the Presence in the Holy of Holies in the Temple reference?
4. Capernaum - what was the setting? Home of Matthew the Tax collector, Peter, Andrew, James and John. Jesus seems to have centred his ministry in and around here. It was perhaps his adult home.
5. Jesus’ words are spirit and life. Spirit to do with the nature and being of God. Life - life in all it’s fulness. The spirit gives life. The spirit of God. Ruach the breath of God breathed into Adam. Eziekel and dry bones....
6. Ref to flesh being useless - ref to inability of us to attain to the life of God by our endevours. This teaching is difficult! The flesh/spirit diachotomy....
7. Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’ What a confession! Experience of Jesus has led to belief - physical evidence has given Peter at least the ability to make the jump between the physically provable about Jesus, to what he and the scriptures say about him. He has made the existential leap of faith...
Also, looking at the Wordle I created, key words are: life, Jesus, disciples, Father, one, believe, live. There is something about the life of faith leading to life lived fully, richly, and divinely.