Friday of the Third Week of Easter
(Acts 9:1-20; John 6:52-59)
Many people today are concerned about quality of life. The elderly worry about having good health in retirement. For them quality of life is not to have to live with chronic pain and, even more critical, not to lose their minds. Meanwhile, young people consider quality of life in economic terms. For them to have a high quality of life means to have the money to buy season tickets to their favorite sports team’s home games and to take a cruise every other year. In today’s gospel Jesus has an alternative conception of quality of life to consider.
Of course, Jesus does not use the term quality of life at all. Rather he speaks of as having his life within. His life is much more than biological life, which bread and wine by themselves can sustain. No, he means eternal life or life in abundance which comes from participating in God’s love. It is a life of gratitude because one is assured of God loves for her or him. The Eucharist, Jesus’ gift of his body and blood, depicts this perfectly. Derived from the Greek language, the word means to be thankful.
We are a Eucharistic people -- a people who continually give thanks to God. Yet we strive to become ever more so. We see the efforts people make for us and thank them. We recognize how we have benefitted from the work of people in times past and feel a sense of gratitude for them as well. Even if our quality of life is not that great in the eyes of others, we know differently. Sick or well, poor or rich, we enjoy a high quality of life because we know of God’s love for us and are thankful for it.