Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Gospel Reflection John 6:35-40

Today’s Gospel reading comes from the Eucharistic discourse in John 6. Jesus unequivocally says He is the bread of life. Those who come to Him, who “eat His flesh and drink His blood,” as we will soon read, will never hunger and also have eternal life. 

In these passages, Jesus has much to say about the will of the Father. Sometimes Christians make the will of God too mysterious or out of reach. Yet a great deal of God’s will is told very plainly to us. For example, in today's passages, just five short verses, the will of God is explicitly referenced three times. 

In most cases, people want to know if it is God’s will that they take a certain job or marry a certain person. Vocations are important. So is marrying the right person. What is more important is the bigger picture. The ‘macro’ will of God, as it pertains to the salvific mission of Christ and the Church, is the most important thing in this context. Put differently; there are many ways to make a living, many places to live, possibly many people you could marry, etc. But there is only one way of rightly ordering life. One Kingdom. One God. One Lord. If we lose our understanding of the big picture of God’s will, we surely will not get the (relatively) smaller things right. 

Today’s verses tell us the will of God is that the Son become Incarnate. The Son came down from heaven in perfect accordance with the Father’s will. We also learn the will of God is that Jesus should not lose any of those the Father gave to Him. We know the will of God is that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life. As we can see, the will of God is nothing but our good. To say God is love is most certainly not a platitude or any kind of new-age spirituality. We are willed (loved) into existence. Love keeps us in existence. And the love of God is continually reaching through every fiber of the created order to reach us and fix what ails us. The will of God is mysterious because God is mysterious. Yet we are able to understand enough of God's will, because of the perfect work of the Son, that the right response is evident: repentance and faith. 

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