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No Matter How You Slice It

Anyone who eats this Bread will live forever
Proverbs 9:1-6; Psalm 34:2-7; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58

Sermon Week Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary John 6:58

Several years ago, a reader wrote the following “Letter to the Editor” of a British newspaper:

Dear Sir, I notice that preachers seem to set a great deal of importance on their sermons, and spend a great deal of time preparing them. I have been going to Church quite regularly over the past thirty years and, during that time, if I estimate correctly, I have listened to no less than three thousand sermons. But, to my dismay, I have discovered that I cannot remember a single one of them. I wonder if the preacher’s time might be more profitably spent on something else?

The letter evoked a deluge of varied responses until the following message arrived and ended the debate:

Dear Sir, I have been married for thirty years. During this time, I ate more than thirty thousand meals, mostly of my wife’s cooking. Suddenly I have discovered that I cannot remember the menu of a single meal. And yet, I received nourishment from every one of them. I have the distinct impression that without them, I would have starved to death long ago.

At this precise moment, you may not be able to remember a single Gospel Episode of the hundreds, or even thousands you may have heard here or in other Churches over the years. Nevertheless, you may have the distinct impression that without them you might have starved to death spiritually.

"I am the Bread of Life," Jesus said again and again. And, in today's Gospel Lesson, He says, "Anyone who does eat My flesh and drink My blood has eternal life.” "Anyone who eats this Bread will live forever" (Jn. 6:54, 58).

We tend to think of eternal life in terms of the immortality of the soul: life after death. But, in so doing, we overlook the fact that Jesus speaks of eternal life in terms of its present meaning. Eternal life is to be with God, Jesus says. Not in the hereafter, but now. The opposite of being with God is, of course, estrangement from God. And that is the very definition of sin.

There's a story about a woman [...]

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