Devotional Thoughts for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost - 1st June 08
- Reading: From the Gospel according to St. John 6: 35-46
Dear and Respected Brethren,
Our Lord is introducing himself in a new way and manner. He says that he is the bread of life. For the faithful there are two types of lives, one on earth and the other eternal. Life on earth itself is so important for each and every human being. We take the maximum care to protect the life, whenever life is threatened due to any sort of reasons. Our Lord is concerned about our eternal life. The eternal life means the state of being in God. Our Lord God wants all the mankind to live in Him and that is the reason for the incarnation of our Savior. In other words we could name it the salvation. When an ordinary human being who was born and bought up in
sin, gets the freedom from sin, death and Satan he or she grows in God to the eternity. God only selected the flesh and blood of Lord Jesus as the means to attain the salvation or the eternal life. Here Lord Jesus is declaring himself as the bread of life. If He is saying so, what is expected from the listeners? It is expected that all listeners must approach the good Lord God, who offered the bread of life for them, to partake the holy mysteries. That is why He said "He that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst." While offering Himself as the bread of life, he established two conditions. 1. The mankind must go to Him
and 2ndly those who approach Him must believe on Him. We must realize that our Lord is repeating this offer and the conditions to the generations after generations.
Now we are supposed to think about our response to the call of Lord Jesus. We might say that we do go to church every week and partake the Holy Eucharist. Many people do so, I know. But we all have to be serious about it. Every now and then we must evaluate our own belief in Him. Could we maintain a very clear picture of a Savior, who grants us eternal life is there in our minds always? Let us make sure by confessing in our minds to Him that Lord you are my redeemer, Lord and God. Unless and until we do it in our mind, all our activities for the spiritual nourishment would be in vain. In verse 36 our Lord says: "But I said unto you, that you also have
seen me and believe not." If this should not happen in our lives, we must confess our faith in Him every day in our minds, in addition to the prayers recited. In every second of our lives, we must feel the fullness of our belief in our Savior in our mind.
In verse 37 we read, "All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that come to me shall I will in no wise cast out". It is a great promise of the redeemer. Those who reach Him will not be cast out. In Job 8:20 we read, "Behold God will not cast away a perfect man neither will he help the evil doers." In Isaiah 1: 18-19 we read about a similar promise. "Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be in white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool, If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land". Our Lord has fixed the need for a true repentance as a pre-condition for one and all who might approach Him. When we would try to accept the bread of life, we must be pure in our thoughts, words and deeds. That is why our Holy Church insists us to have a Holy Confession or at least a Hussoyo prior to partaking the Holy Eucharist.
After saying that He came down from heaven to do the will of His Father, He explains in verse 39 what His Father's will is God the Father wants to raise one and all who has been attached to the Son, on the last day. Again in the next verse our Lord makes it more clear that God the Father wishes to grant everlasting life to all who have come and believed in Lord Jesus.
Immediately the Jews started the murmuring. They could not believe the words or the promises of Lord Jesus. They could not believe Him because they were not prepared to have real and genuine repentance. We must be very careful not to identify with such people, even though we are also regular church goers. Many of our people go to the Church without repentance or even without a desire for repentance. Such will be interested in some or other arguments or comments about the routine administration of the Parish or so.
They give the importance and greatness for something other than the Holy Eucharist and the words of God. It is a pity for such. If our Church is the house of God, He knows to run the administration of the Churches also. We must leave away the glory due to God to God alone, instead of taking for us.
May God bless us all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril.