May 8, 2019
Jesus said to the crowds, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. . . . For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.” Jn_6:35-40
There’s an old proverb that prompted the question, “What’s the difference between the Jewish son who didn’t believe in Moses, and the one who did?” Well, the one who did, was saved!
And then there’s another one that goes like this: “What’s the difference between the unleavened bread of the Pharisees and the Italian bread of Lazarus?” Well, the Italian bread was raised on the last day! (ha,ha)
Now they may sound a little silly, but these quirky questions helped the young children to remember the importance of BELIEF, the importance of being SAVED, and the importance of RESURRECTION in the Biblical stories.
As adults, it’s really fun to see those ties between the Old Testament stories and the actual events in the Life of Jesus. Events like the Passover Lamb’s blood on the doorposts and the Lord’s blood on the cross; like Ezekiel’s vision of a river, flowing from the Temple of God, and the actual river of Life flowing from the pierced side of Jesus, (who is God, our true Temple); and like the Passover bread, the manna from heaven, and the covenant bread of Jesus’ Last Supper.
And then it’s even more revealing to see those same ties from the life of Jesus to our own lives. Like the spilled blood of Jesus, 2000-years ago and His Sacramental Blood in our Eucharist today; like the water that flowed from the pierced side of Jesus on the cross and the baptismal water that flowed over us, in our entrance into God’s Church; and like the bread of that Last Supper, (the bread that Jesus insisted was actually Himself, when He said, “I am the Bread of Life,”) and the Bread of our Eucharist, the true Body of Christ, that brings us Life in Him.
You see, when we can truly and honestly BELIEVE in this Jesus, this Jesus who came in the flesh (out of God’s pure love) and died for us, then, just like the leavened bread (of the kid’s proverb), and just like Lazarus (resuscitated from death), and just like Jesus Himself (resurrected), we will be RAISED on our “Last Day.” And just like the believing Israelites (in the time of Moses and Jesus), we will be SAVED for Eternal Life in that Kingdom of Love that Jesus promises for all of us.
This IS the will of God our Father, IF we believe!
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