2 Samuel 18:5-9, 31-33; Psalm 130; (or 1 Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34:1-8); Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51
“The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.” – George Carlin
Today’s Gospel passage for the third week in a roll continues John’s indirect account of the Eucharist. (Remember that in John’s report of the Last Supper there is no mention of the Communion bread and wine.) Here today Jesus is inviting everyone to eat the living bread. In this passage alone three times Jesus says he himself is the bread of life or the living bread (John 6:35, 48, 51). If we are to dine with Jesus we need to remember that we are not the only guests. When we read the life of Jesus we see that he indiscriminately ate with anyone, rich or poor, saint or sinner. Who he associated with was even a subject of town gossip. We are invited to dine (metaphor for sharing life) with all sorts of people, not just our friends or those we agree with. Dinner with Jesus will stretch our acceptance limits. George Carlin in the above quote was just being his comedian self. But there is truth in what he says. Dining with Jesus’ gathered family, given the diversity of people, means that we will not all agree. We will argue. That’s OK. Disagreements and arguments can always be surrounded with love, no matter how frustrating they are. Jesus himself several times argued with others. This is the bread of enrichment. The bread that Jesus gives for the life of the world (John 6:51) is multigrain.
John 6:51 says that those who eat of this bread will “live forever.” That is the consistent translation in almost all bible versions. However, the Greek literally says we will “live into the age.” This leads us to understand that eternal life is not endless time, one moment after another without end. Rather it is a state of being (the age) where all is now, the completion and rapping up of time, where there is no time.
Come dine in the age.
Look round at all the faces.
Who would have thought so?