St Ignatius, in one of his meditations, asks people to imagine the Holy Trinity in heaven. Looking down, they gaze upon all of humanity and see men and women greatly diverse in dress and behavior: “some white and others black, some at peace and others at war, some weeping and others laughing, some healthy and others sick, some being born and others dying....” In their compassion, they decide that the second person of the Trinity who is Jesus should become human. “And that is when the fullness of time had come. Christmas marks the time when God, out of compassion, became human, or, as the Gospel of John has it, “pitched his tent among us.”
Verses 54-55 Jesus said that, “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day.” He continues to say, “For my flesh is food indeed and my blood is drink indeed”
He spoke words that were offensive and hard for the Jews to understand; eating Jesus’ flesh! And drinking His blood! Remember how disgusting the thought of drinking blood would be for the Jews. In the book of Deuteronomy it is prohibited to eat or drink blood; they could not even imagine eating human flesh. That is cannibalism and Jesus’ followers could not understand how one would eat His flesh and drink His blood. This is the sacrament he commanded us to do often in remembrance of Him. We celebrate the Holy Communion by taking His body that was broken for us and blood that was shed for us. We celebrate His sacrifice which led Him to die on the cross for us so that we may have life and have it more abundantly.
Let’s think and compare saving life through blood transfusion or heart transplant which gives a person another chance to live for a few more years but not eternal. When you get a blood transfusion it means you live by the hospitality of a donor. This is somebody else’s blood one takes to live. When you get a heart transplant you live by the gift of someone who has died; someone who had signed to donate his organs upon death. Somebody’s organ planted in you and you live. If we can do this why can’t we understand what Jesus is talking about?
Jesus said to the Jews “what will you think if you see me return to heaven again?” They did not believe that Jesus came down from heaven. So they would not believe seeing him return to heaven. Then He said, “People can’t come to me unless the Father brings them to me.” God draws people to himself.
Jesus turned to the twelve saying, “do you also want to go away?” This is our question today too. The World is going it’s way do you also want to go? Stick with Jesus and He will stick with you.
Simon Peter replied, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words that give eternal Life. We believe them and we know you are the Holy one of God”. Let us Christians join Peter and say, Lord, how could we leave you? You teach the doctrine which leads to eternal life. If we leave you, there is no one else to whom we can go. To leave you would be to seal our doom.