We are still pretty early in John's Gospel in our Daily Office reading, and unlike the three Synoptic Gospels, John gives us a clear and unambiguous early presentation of how Jesus and our Eucharistic table liturgy interact. This is well before the Last Supper that comes later in John's Gospel.
I'm not talking about transubstantiation or what happens to the bread and the wine we utilize during Eucharist. These few verses of John's Gospel are not about cannibalism, as some critics of our liturgy claim. Those critics are the same as the Jews who disputed what Jesus was talking about when they asked How can this man give us his flesh to eat? In these verses we find the bedrock of our sacramental theology that grounds our Eucharistic liturgy and beliefs. By gathering around our common table and sharing one bread and one cup we are declaring ourselves as Christ's; we are declaring ourselves as a community supporting one another in all that we are and all that we can be. We are declaring ourselves as a sacramental people who love Jesus and want him to be the central foundation of our lives.
Lent is a great time to explore these verses.
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.