Believe in the Goodness of God and Merit Eternal Life
Reflection on the Gospel of the Thursday
The last few days we have been reading John 6, where John presents Jesus as the Bread/Nourishment that sustains us to live full lives. In John 6 the topic/theme is Jesus the Bread of Life (an I AM statement), but there is another thing that Jesus is repeatedly saying along with identifying himself as the sustainer/nourishment of our lives; i.e. Do you believe? Believe and live… etc. The Keyword being ‘believe‘.
Lets say in your neighbourhood there is someone who does not mix too well with anyone, keeps to himself, and is not overtly involved with neighbourhood activities, such a person mostly we conclude as being proud, egoistic, elitist, etc… But note this is speculation, you have no personal knowledge of this person. One day because of some circumstance you end up interacting with this person, and you find him humble, supportive, friendly, helpful etc, your opinion of him changes, and this opinion is proper, because you have a personal experience/ knowledge/ understanding of this person. This we can say is proper belief about the person.
So too we are invited by Jesus to believe in Him, how can we come to know Him? Is reciting or praying enough? Because you are engaging God without knowing who He is. So How can we know who he is? Read the Bible, even as you read it compare how God is portrayed in it to who you have been taught He is. Have you seen similar similar actions of God in your life? Reflect and talk to God about what you have read in the Bible. Ask Him to give you a proper understanding. Many times we read the Bible from the Worlds way of looking at things… But is God that? A good place to start reading the bible is with the Proper Understanding that God is Good and if God is good, how is God’s Goodness shown in each story, law or writing in the Bible… When you start from here, many of the difficult passages to understand end up giving us amazing Truths about God. And when you encounter these Truths, God becomes real and living and in your midst. Then is the time you can confidently say Lord I believe, take away whatever little unbelief that may remain in me.
Our Father has called each one of us by name to be part of his Kingdom. He has gifted us eternal life, hence we cannot be separated from him anymore. We need to grow in his company and grow in the understanding that we are his Children in our humanity and divinity. He helps us learn this by nourishing us with his body and blood. Jesus the bread of life teaches and reveals to us God’s Mystery and gives us a better understand of Himself in and through the Eucharist.
Today’s first reading of the Ethiopian Eunuch helps us understand today’s reflection. He tells Phillip how can I understand what I am reading from the Book of Isaiah. We are like him, we read but do not know, and still we engage God. Yes God will reach out to us, through various means, as in the Eunuch’s case, the Holy Spirit brought in Phillip to help him. But God will never take shortcuts, and will lead us to a proper understanding of Himself, like in Phillip educating the Eunuch about all scripture and God’s action in human history. Only then when he understood that the God of Israel is the God of Love, he could shout out to Phillip and say, I want to be Baptised. Let us also open our hearts to learn from God and grow into the gift of eternal life (i.e. to be in His Presence).
Holy Spirit help me to learn and be nourished in you through Jesus’ Word and Flesh, open our eyes that we may see you truly in the Eucharist.