Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
(Acts 8:1b-8; John 6:35-40)
Jesus calls himself “the bread of life.” He means that just as the body digests bread in order to live so must one come to Jesus if she is to have the fullness of life. Later on in the “Bread of Life Discourse,” Jesus will equate coming to him with participating in the Eucharist. In this passage he intends that the person believe what he teaches. After all, Jesus is not teaching his own ideas but what he has learned from God, the Father.
Jesus lives among the Jews, but his message is intended for the whole world. He declares that he will reject no one. He is saying that no longer are the Jews the exclusive people of God. Rather pagans and Africans and homosexuals and others that some people cannot tolerate who come to him will be accepted into God’s people.
We sometimes think of ourselves as God’s people because we partake of Jesus in the Eucharist. We are right in considering eating Jesus’ body and drinking his blood as a distinct privilege. But we are mistaken if we discount people from God’s chosen family because they do not join us in the Communion line. It is wiser to judge ourselves as well as others on the basis of love for Africans, homosexuals and others whom many people tend to reject.