August 12, 2018 – Reflections by Deacon Al

Deacon-Al-Poroda-Headshot

Deacon Al

Eating and drinking is not just with the mouth and the digestive organs of our bodies, but the reception of God’s grace by believing in Christ, as He makes abundantly clear by repeating the same truths both in metaphoric and plain language these past few weeks.
Seeing and believing in Christ is equivalent to eating and drinking His flesh and blood, for the result is the same: possession of eternal life and resurrection at the last day. Jesus’ discourse is not primarily a reference to the Eucharist, but to His sacrifice on the cross.
He says, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” This expression is similar to others in John’s gospel all of which undoubtedly refer to His death on the cross, and explains the resemblance between Jesus’ discourse on the bread of life and the Eucharist, which is a proclamation of His death. Both of them are pointing to the one momentous event of our redemption, the sacrifice of the cross.
John states, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are writ-ten that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name”. The feeding of the five thousand, along with the other signs, was recorded so that we may believe that Jesus is the divine Messiah, and that through this faith we might have eternal life.
This relates and/or corresponds to the former homily I had given a few weeks ago concerning doubt vs. faith, hunger vs. being filled. We do not minimize the importance of the Eucharist in the Christian experience, yet we must assert the primary importance of faith in Christ for eternal life. That is the biblical emphasis, and this is the lesson we are to believe in Jesus’ “Bread of Life discourse.”
Blessings, D/A

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