Gospel: Jn 6:52-59
The Jews were arguing among themselves, ”How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus replied, ”Truly, I say to you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
My flesh is really food, and my blood is truly drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood, live in me, and I in them. Just as the Father, who is life, sent me, and I have life from the Father, so whoever eats me will have life from me. This is the bread from heaven; not like that of your ancestors, who ate and later died. Those who eat this bread will live forever.”
Jesus spoke in this way in Capernaum when he taught them in the synagogue.
Talks of eating human flesh and blood horrifies us. And in the history of our faith, we have been accused of cannibalistic practices especially in the first four hundred years of our existence. Even during the time of Jesus, horror and disgust at this type of conversation is already evident as our gospel today would show. This happens because some people were not privy to the mystery of our faith. They were not aware that the Jesus in front of them is the Son of the Father. He is not only human. He is also God. Hence His discourse is not on the literal physical plane only but more so on the symbolic and the spiritual as well. This type of conversation needs preparation on the part of the hearer. They need to be schooled in the teachings of Jesus. Hence those who first hear it were scandalized. But those who were already prepared profited much and without fear received the ”flesh and blood” of Jesus, the bread of life that comes from heaven.