August 27, 2000

John 6:56-69 (CEV)

[Jesus is responding to confusion about eating his flesh and drinking his blood] "If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you are one with me, and I am one with you.

"The living Father sent me, and I have life because of him. Now everyone who eats my flesh will live because of me. The bread that comes down from heaven isn't like what your ancestors ate. They died, but whoever eats this bread will live forever."

Jesus was teaching in a Jewish place of worship in Capernaum when he said these things.

Many of Jesus' disciples heard him and said, "This is too hard for anyone to understand."

Jesus knew that his disciples were grumbling. So he asked, "Does this bother you? What if you should see the Son of Man go up to heaven where he came from? The Spirit is the one who gives life! Human strength can do nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are from that life-giving Spirit. But some of you refuse to have faith in me." Jesus said this, because from the beginning he knew who would have faith in him. He also knew which one would betray him.

Then Jesus said, "You cannot come to me, unless the Father makes you want to come. That is why I have told these things to all of you."

Because of what Jesus said, many of his disciples turned their backs on him and stopped following him. Jesus then asked his twelve disciples if they were going to leave him. Simon Peter answered, "Lord, there is no one else that we can go to! Your words give eternal life. We have faith in you, and we are sure that you are God's Holy One."


1. There are some things which are too hard for us to bear in a given moment. We all are betrayers of ourselves and one another. So, take out a piece of paper and take the time to reflect in writing on what it is that seems too hard for you right now.

It is amazing how this will sharpen your prayers and attune you the surprising mystery of GOD.

2. There are some things which have been too hard for us to bear for a long time. We all have tapes from the past playing in our heads and hearts which constrict the freedom of GOD. So, take out another piece of paper and take the time it takes to reflect on where the flow of forgiveness has been constricted in your life.

It is amazing how this will sharpen your energy and awaken you to the surprising mystery of GOD.

3. As you consider the pairing of betrayal and forgiveness, give thanks for the image of eternal life. What does that mean to you as a betrayer of yourself, others, and GOD? What does that mean to you as a forgiven and beloved child of GOD? What words of eternal life do you hear in the midst of confusion between bread and flesh and community and blood?

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