As I was initially reading the Scriptures for this Sunday, there was a moment when I wondered if I had picked up the script from a Food Network special or something. I’m ready for dinner!
We are in the midst of one of the most straight-forward, and yet most difficult to understand, sections in all of the Scriptures. It is a source of contention for many who follow Jesus, even some that were right there in the middle of the story. On some level, it’s hard to blame them. What Jesus is saying is pretty, we’ll just go with, out there. We have the luxury of having heard this story (as a human people) for 2000 years, but can you imagine if you were there hearing this for the first time? I like to believe that I would have stuck around and had the conviction to power through my lack of understanding, but it would have been so easy to dismiss it and move on with my life…
…and that would be tragic. The crazy thing about the readings this Sunday is that we are given a recipe for figuring this out. In the first reading from Wisdom, the invitation to eat and drink is given to the simple, to those who lack understanding. (I need to reserve my seat now.) The Psalm continues the invitation, “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord”. And Paul tells us to “not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.” So the very act of taking part in the Eucharistic Feast can give us that deeper understanding of Jesus and the Eucharist. And the more we understand, the closer we come to the will of the Lord in our lives.
Jesus knows that it is difficult for us to understand what it means that the Eucharistic Bread and Wine are His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Continue to seek Jesus in the Eucharist. Sit in His presence. Ask Him to help you see. Receive Him in faith that He will be with you as you “advance in the way of understanding”.