The Words of Eternal Life

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Twenty-First Sunday In Ordinary Time

John 6:60-69

Bread, it sustains us but does it ever satisfy the hunger? It does calm the hungry stomach for a little while until you find yourself hungry again. Well, bread is like our needs, wants and desires. Our needs are essential while our wants and desires may never end. We keep seeking, we keep wanting …  SUCCESS… HAPPINESS… in the temporary. The quality of life is measured erroneously with quantities of money, assets owned, moments of pleasure, power and so on – temporary stuff; here today gone tomorrow.  So is there anything eternal? Fictional novels have been written about fountains of youth and the elixir of life, some even have an idea of travelling through time – Fictional stuff indeed!

Jesus offers us a reality, Eternal Life – It is promised to all those who follow His Words. Following His Words requires faith and faith requires an encounter, a relationship of trust. You cannot have faith in someone without understanding and trusting him or her. In today’s Gospel, Jesus has developed a relationship with His disciples. The disciples haven’t understood everything that Jesus says but they trust in Him. They trust Him because they have a profound experience with Him – miracles, wonders, being receptive to His teaching and most importantly accepting Jesus’ love and companionship irrespective of their imperfect lives. 

To understand Jesus, we need to know Him. We can know Him through His Words and be receptive to His invitation. Developing a relationship with God, to know Him better is not an overnight transformation but a journey. The Lives of Saints are a testimony of what the Lord can do if we are faithful to His Words, receptive to His Spirit that infuses and transforms our lives. The Saints knew the secret – The eternal God speaks eternal words that are eternally true for all generations.  But just like in the Gospel, Jesus offers you a choice – Live your earthly life in the love and companionship of Jesus to receive the gift of Eternal Life or if the teaching is difficult, do you also wish to go away?