This week we continue our reflection of John Chapter 6 and the Bread of Life Discourse. I would like to turn our attention to Wisdom Literature in the Book of Proverbs 9:5 “Let whoever is simple turn in here; To the one who lacks understanding, she says, Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed!
We hear a lavish meal prepared with fine wine and meat. The meal is for understanding for the gaining of wisdom and insight. The food that is offered is Food for the Soul. When we hear of Soul Food, we think of the big meals with the best and finest foods that we enjoy and bring us comfort. We sit and gather with family, relatives and friends and we simply enjoy that good old home cooking with the finest of all ingredients, made with love.
The meal spread before us is greater than our own gratification and physical satisfaction it is meant as Food for the Soul. Proverbs 9:6 says that the meal spread before is to transform us “Forsake foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding.” As we seek our own spiritual transformation and renewal it requires spiritual food.
The best spiritual food for our soul is offered as God’s gift to us. All are invited to come into full communion and share in the Divine Life of God through a sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus in the Gospel of John lays out the true and real presence of Food for our Soul, not only for us today but for everlasting life. Jesus said to the crowds:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.” JN 6:51
This invitation and requirement were hard on ancient Israel’s ears. To eat anything with blood was forbidden, and the idea of eating the body of Jesus and drinking his blood was unfathomable. This was too much for them to hear and many rejected him. What Jesus offers us is spiritual food, Food for our Soul and for our Salvation in Him alone. His true and real presence comes to us in Eucharist, in the communion that we share, it is not simply a sign as other religious traditions might have it, it isn’t simply a commemoration, but Jesus is clear as he says.
“For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him. ”
It is clear the understanding of what may appear to be ordinary bread and wine, is changed and transformed are real food and drink become His true body and blood in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This is divine food, Food for our Souls that gives us life, both now and for all eternity.
There are those who don’t truly understand our faith and belief in Christ as our Eucharistic Food, His true and real presence that comes to us as we gather each week. I had a wonderful opportunity to treat a couple regular Mass attendees to dinner this week. To my surprise I learned that although they had been coming to Mass and worship with us, they were not Catholic. They find in our worship, preaching and celebration a strong connection with Christ and His Church. I encourage them and all those who desire to grow in knowledge of our Christian faith as Catholics to come, listen, learn and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. If you are desiring this oneness and unique connection and experience with Christ, consider becoming Catholic.
Our Church, our Faith is not an ideology, it isn’t some philosophy. The be a Christian and Catholic is to be in relationship with Jesus Christ and this relationship leads us into Divine Communion with Him, and most intimately through communion, Jesus true Body and His true Blood. You experience the joy and power of the One who is the Bread of Life given for Food for the Soul to the world. All are welcome to know him and experience His power and love.