quote:John 6:25-59 English Standard Version (ESV) 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
I'm not a huge fan of this translation...
I find these passages very challenging. Jesus's followers are quoted as saying, "this is a hard teaching."
Interestingly, I initially glossed over this "hard teaching" and used it as an argument to go to Mass once a week.
I read a creative interpretation of these words, positing that Christ wanted a relationship as intimate as the culture of food and drink among friends.
I take it literally that a Christian must eat and drink the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. I see Mary and Joseph as vehicles for the ultimate revelation of mankind, not that he is the Christ, but that the meaning to earthly existence is in succumbing to a personal relationship with a living deity, Jesus Christ.
The term "personal relationship" has been muddled over the years because in a Wittgensteinian sense, the term obfuscates its meaning. The relationship of Christ to self is one of therapist to man, in the sense that the mortal flesh is no longer enslaved to its baser needs.
That Christ was the law, yet in fact, added to it and reduced it to two commandments, yet he is also the literal food and drink of Christians. The nourishment of the Eucharist gives Christians new life in Him through a literal transubstantiation of the species of the bread and wine to his very flesh.
I now realize that the intimacy of eating and drinking Christ, is metaphorical for the intimacy with which he desires with mankind, individually.
A personal relationship is more than a buffer or protection, but allowing oneself to have Christ live through you. Like a medium allowing a ghost into his/her body, Christ is able to live through the body of the Christian. Us able to manifest Christ in our own flesh. The freeing part of allowing us to be a simulacrum of Christ, is the recognition that our earthly bodies are mere physical dead things.
If the Spirit is life, then why would Christians dwell on their physical bodies, seeming to count for little.
This thus wraps back to Genesis 2:7 that God, breathed a living soul into the flesh.
So in a way a literal interpretation of Genesis is necessary for a Christian understanding of human-bodied existence.
What is important is the Spirit, the life. Without this Spirit, the body is dead.
I guess the fundamental threat of a dogmatic evolution belief system, is the denial that we, as human beings, are a created species.
When Christ lives through a Christian's body, and in his Soul, the Christian perpetuates the divine relationship between man and God. The creator in harmony with his creation.
So this text becomes pivotal to the Christian because it posits that the corporeal flesh is merely a container for the Living Spirit of Christ Incarnate.
The Living God, made Flesh, Risen, now lives in us and through us and with us in every day contemporary life. The only religion making somesuch promise.