August 18, 2018

20th Sunday - B (August 19, 2018)

The Eucharist – The Gift of Eternal Life

In the Gospel of John, Jesus uses the phrase “eternal life” more than he does in all 3 other Gospels combine.  This is a major theme in John’s faith in Jesus.

In Chapter 3, Jesus speaks of eternal life as the gift of God’s love for the world in giving his only Son: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”  (3:16).

Later, Jesus prays during the Last Supper, summarizing his mission that he spoke of in 3:16: “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.”  Knowing Jesus is having eternal life.

And in today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of his body and blood as the gift of eternal life already given to us even now.  “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.”  (Note:  the verb is in the present tense).

Knowing Jesus is not some abstract knowledge.  In his body and blood, we encounter the Divine and God’s loving gift of eternal life.

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