Podcast Reflections

Reflection on John 6.52-59 (Easter 3: Friday; Easter Season)

Listen to a reflection for Easter 3: Friday, 28 April 2023, on John 6.52-59 (Easter Season)

John 6.52-59

The Jews disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’ He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. 


Jesus said: ‘Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.’

At the Last Supper, on the day before his crucifixion, Jesus gave us the sacrament of Holy Communion. He told us to gather and intentionally share in the simple and symbolic meal of bread and wine. Jesus told us to do this as an act of remembrance, in order that we might never forget all that he gave to and for humanity.

In 1826, the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote a book entitled: Physiologie du Gout, ou Medetations de Gastronomie Transcendante. In that book he wrote (originally in French) ‘Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.’ This phrase has passed down the decades and exists in the form: You are what you eat, that is: it is important to eat good food in order to be healthy and fit. Eating good food is seen to be essential if we are to sustain and prolong our lives. With this principle in mind I would ask: ‘What can be healthier than partaking in the simple meal that constantly renews our connection with Christ?’

We call the meal that Jesus gave us: Communion. That word … communion … also means fellowship, union and spiritual intercourse. By giving us his flesh and his blood, in the symbolic substances of bread and wine, Jesus was creating a way of perpetually reminding ourselves of that sacrifice which brings us into a state of constant fellowship, union and spiritual intercourse with himself. He is saying: we are what we eat, and we should be careful to choose the menu wisely.

The Christian life is one of prayer and engagement in scripture, but it also entails our participation in the meal of fellowship and thanksgiving, the meal in which we become one with Christ … communion, the eucharist, the mass. As we walk the path of spiritual intercourse with Jesus we will need food and drink to sustain us on our journey. Jesus has provided those essentials for us. It is our responsibility to take that slither of bread and that sip of wine in order that we might know the deep joy and exciting warmth of being in unity with Jesus, our risen Lord and Saviour.