Soul food

Sunday, August 13

1 Kings 19:4-8; John 6:35, 41-51

Ego eimi, Jesus begins. I AM. Then he finishes the audacious sentence: I AM the bread of life. I AM, he goes on, the bread from heaven here to do the will of the One who sent me: to help people believe and by believing have eternal life.

The people get hung up on Jesus’s origins. He’s Joe’s boy from Nazareth. But Jesus is talking mission, not genotype. Then Jesus’s language turns even stranger: Anyone who eats of this bread will live eternally, and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.

The word “flesh” may be closer to Jesus’s original eucharistic words than “body”—more Hebraic, less Greek, a more vivid metaphor, harder to swallow. “This is my flesh given for you.”

 

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