Over the past three weeks we have been able to actively share on our faith journey, talking with one another about how God has provided for us in our lives. My hope is that all who took part got much out of it. I would certainly be interested to hear either way. I believe that in sharing our stories of faith we have much to offer each other as we seek draw closer to our Lord.
Today we hear how in responding to Jesus referring to himself as the ‘Bread of Life’ many of those who had been following him could not handle these words. They failed to see the deeper meaning behind them. Many ultimately ended up leaving Jesus. Peter understood. When asked whether he wished to go away too? He answered ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life …’
Words are such powerful things. They have the capacity to create much happiness or deep pain depending on the words we say and how we choose to express them. Good and kind words, when spoken at the right time, can heal a wounded heart. Words can be destructive too. They can destroy a character or reputation and can harm the peace of a family for instance.
The words that Jesus spoke always had the others best interests at heart. The words spoken in this Sunday’s Gospel were said in the hope that people would see their deepest longings could be met by accepting his invitation to come to him.
This weekend is the first of four Sundays where our children receive Holy Communion for the very first time. In receiving the Body of Christ they take their next step of initiation in becoming part of the Body of Christ.
All of us who are preparing to receive the Bread of Life in the Eucharist this Sunday have an opportunity to think about the words we use in everyday life.
Do they build people up or not? Do they reflect being part of the Body of Christ? Do they give life to others? At the end of the Gospel we hear how Peter believed in the words Jesus spoke. It is good to say we believe but just as important that the way we live our lives also reflects that belief. May we like Peter, accept Christ’s saving words.