The Words of Eternal Life
Many people are attracted to Jesus because He offers them something irresistible: God’s loving kindness and mercy that were shown in His wonderful works of healing, deliverance and miraculous feeding of the five thousand. But when Jesus’ discourses on “eating his flesh and drinking his blood” (John 6:51-59), which points to the Last Supper and this causes them offence and hard to accept. They cannot understand the promise of the Eucharist. It is because they were thinking that He is promoting cannibalism, and they found it very difficult to accept. And so they stopped following Him. They abandoned Him. But this abandonment does not give Jesus even the lightest thought to discontinue His Eucharistic teaching in order to be more acceptable to them. He even challenges His apostles: “Do you also want to leave?” St. Peter seemed inspired, says: “Master, to whom shall we go to? You have the words of eternal life,” (v. 67-68).
Reading God’s Word in the Scriptures has been a component of the Sunday Liturgy since the first Last Supper and very early Christian celebrations. The communities of believers read from both Old Testament readings and the New Testament. We revere the Holy Book and carry it in solemn procession, incensing it and holding it high.
But as people we can help bring about the Good News to others through fulfilment of it. It is because we are called to become another Christ. We are the fulfilling the word of God in many ways like:
First, we should use the Scripture as a basis for our study and meditation. Let us follow the ones highlighted for the season, so that we live the Paschal Mystery at this time of year in us to be in tune with the season. It is because other passages are meant for other times and seasons and all have their place. Furthermore, somebody had said that we are to take Scripture to others, encouraging them to read and reflect on the Word of God and helping them to see Scripture as being at the heart of their own prayer life.
Second is to practice what we preach. In Matthew 23: 1-12 Jesus says to observe all that the Pharisees teach but not to follow their example. It is because they do not do what they preach. This admonition of Jesus to practice what we preach is not only for religious leaders and preachers but this extends to government leaders, civic leaders, educational and business leaders. This is also applies to parents and their relations to children; to young people and their relations to each other. Somebody said that everybody has to admit that it is so much easier to preach than to practice. No matter how inspiring or pertinent is the preaching, the harder part is to say I practice what is preached to me and I practice what I preach to others. It is so important that the preaching be through deeds and not only through words.
And so the reason why we are here, it’s because of the words of Jesus that open our eyes. A priest said that His words point us to the right direction; they provide the driving force and the inspiration to keep on going, in spite of difficulties, trials, sickness, failures, and even death. His words are indeed ‘spirit and life.’