“’He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of / through the Father (διὰ τὸν Πατέρα), so he who eats me will live because of / through me (δι᾽ἐμέ). This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.’ This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, ‘This is a difficult (σκληρός) word; who can listen to it / hear it (ἀκούειν)?’” (Jn 6: 56-60)

“Many” of the disciples were speaking a different language, so to say, from the one Jesus was speaking, when it came to the concept of “living.” Our Lord is talking about “life” the way God meant it to be for us, as a shared thing, in communion with one another and with Him. Communion is what makes us alive. Our Lord, in His divine being, “lives” no other way but a shared one, “because of” or “through” the Father. That’s just the way He “is,” our Triune God. So He gives us His life as a relational, shared thing. We have true “life” not in self-isolation, but “because of” and “through” communion with others, including Him, in His one, created universe.

The whole “eating and drinking” part of this communion, with Him and the rest of creation, is His way of involving also the physical side of our being in His, just as He involved Himself in our physicality, having “become flesh” in His incarnation. Because we are not only spiritual, but physical, – and eternally so, in the bodily resurrection. Lord, let me be open today, to communion with You, and through You with others, both spiritually and physically, that I may truly “live.”

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