"For my Flesh is true food"

"For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him."
(John 6:55-56)
The Gospel of the Third Friday of Easter is really the climax of the Bread of Life discourse. It contains passages that, if taken at face value, are shocking.

And we should take them at face value.

The Lord is trying to shock his listeners. He isn't doing it just to be shocking, however. He is sharing the straight-forward and shocking truth: his Sacred Flesh will be a living sacrifice, and those that desire to find true life will partake of that flesh.

It is gruesome and visceral. But it is also beautiful and necessary, part of what makes the Christian faith truly unique.

We believe that God, in the fullness of time, sent his Son into the world. In other words, God writes himself into the story of creation and becomes a historical fact.

Christianity has spawned a lot of great ideas, great philosophy and theology. In the end, though, it isn't about an idea, but a historical fact: the fact of Jesus life, death and resurrection. We are called to participate in that Great Fact. Not in our heads, subjectively, but in our lives, objectively.

When, at the Last Supper, Jesus institutes the Holy Eucharist, he provides a way for his Sacred Flesh and Blood to be shared down through time...to give all of us the ability to both witness and partake in the very historical fact of his sacrifice.

It is as radical as it sounds.

When we say that we are brothers and sisters in Christ, that we are part of the Body of Christ, these aren't metaphors. It is an actual, physical reality. Out flesh is joined with Christ's Sacred Flesh. His Precious Blood flows through our veins.

We have become family, in the literal sense of the word.

This is the great mystery of Salvation. It isn't just a theological revelation to assuage our hurting consciences. It is an objective reality, something that takes place in time and space--the eternal, ephemeral and transcendent taking on flesh in the Eucharist and, through that Eucharist, in us.

May the Lord grant us the grace to see this truth in all of its profound glory.

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