Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time—26 August 2018
I have some sympathy for the response of the Jews to Jesus' hard teaching in today's Gospel! For a Jew to be asked to drink blood is as abhorrent as it gets. It is the same as demanding that an ultra Orthodox Jew eat pork! In almost all the stories in the Gospel of John there are insiders and outsiders, those who understand the message and those who take Jesus too literally and are offended or confused. The flesh and blood given for the life of the world is at one and the same time the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus celebrated in the Eucharist. Jesus was not, literally, offering his arm for his followers to chew! He was referring to the gift he was soon going to give his followers: the example of utter fidelity to God's Kingdom even unto death, and the meal of that Kingdom, the Eucharist. We are the recipients of both gifts and the commission to live them out. The Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation is given to us for our mission in the world today and for our journey toward the World to come.