John 6:51-58 Simply Shocking!
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Jesus said to the crowds: “I am the living bread that came down from heave: whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
There are very few things in this world that truly shock me. That most musicians, artists, Hollywood stars, perverts, heterophobes openly make fun of Christians, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Sacraments does not shock me in the least. It annoys me. [By the way, Microsoft spell-check has the word ‘homophobes’ in its dictionary but not ‘heterophobes’. I doubt I misspelled a non-existent word].
Very few things shock me. That three young ladies from a radical Russian rock group committed a sacrilege in an Orthodox Church did not shock me! What shocked me is that they went to jail over it. Now that shocked me as well as thrilled me. They claim they are “political activists”, and that they were protesting against Prime Minister Putin. But how exactly does busting into a Christian Church, dancing on the altar and praying blasphemous prayers remove a corrupt government? How does insulting a religion replace a government?
Of course, most of the world is shocked over the fact that these individuals received a two year prison sentence. I am too…for a completely different reason. But again, I am not shocked that no one in the West is up in arms over the fact that the faith of nearly two billion people was insulted.
Like I said, very few things shock me.
Recently, an atheist organization sued the 911 memorial museum in New York City over the famous metal cross beams found amidst the ruins of the World Trade Centers. The group claims that it is a symbol of Christianity that does not belong there. The museum claims the beams belong in the exhibit because it is an actual piece from one of the buildings, and that these two metal beams became a symbol of hope for the thousands of men and women who worked in the rescue and cleanup effort. The atheist group is willing to allow the piece to stand as long as they are given an equal opportunity to exhibit some sort of symbol representing atheism. When asked what that symbol would look like, the lawyer did not know what to say, so he said, “Maybe a giant ‘A’”. I personally believe it should be a hole with nothing in it or a human head with nothing in it. I do not find it shocking that our legal system is wasting tax payer money in order to resolve this issue. I find it annoying. But what I do find shocking is how this intelligent (atheist) lawyer had nothing better to offer his organization (and people) than an “A”. It reminds me of a book I read in High School: The Scarlet Letter.
Jesus said to the crowds: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” Christ not only shocked his audience, he shocked his Apostles! He shocked the hell out of them! He shocked them because he surprised them at how far he was willing to give himself for them. The leader; the giant; the Lord was willing to give himself for his subjects. That was unheard of!
There is nothing shocking about a leader being vane, egotistic, arrogant, selfish or self-centered or self-entitled. There is nothing shocking about the loner, the abused, the poor guy, the loser or the freak being at the center of a massacre. By now we’ve all become numb to massacres, drug related violence, etc. We’ve all become accustomed to shocking the heaven out of the world! Big deal! Unfortunately, it is to be expected.
That we have public school massacres in such anti-religious settings is not shocking. What is shocking is that we do not have more of them. That we have hate crimes committed by LBGT activists against the Family Research Council and other Christian organizations is not shocking. What is shocking is that we do not have more of them.
But what is truly shocking; so shocking that it shocks the hell out of this world, is to be humble, self-giving, selfless, sacrificing, forgiving and giving to all, including those who insult you. That is shocking!
From the Lord’s incarnation to his self-emulation, the Lord shocked our senses, our preconceived notions, our understanding of how things worked. With every single word He spoke; every single miracle He performed; every single contact He made; every single pardon He gave, the Lord gave himself to us. But what is shocking is that it wasn’t enough. He also wanted to give His body, blood, soul and divinity to us. He literally, physically, realistically and objectively wanted to give His life to us.
When we receive the Lord in the Eucharist today, let’s do what the Lord would do. And let’s never take His life in us for granted.
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