Son Of Man Be Lifted UP

crossToday, we celebrate the Exaltation of the Cross. A feast tat celebrates Life, not death. Jesus came down from heaven and was raised up, and in this down and up we find new Life.
“Up” and “Down” are words that capture seeming contradictions. The space between up and down, heaven and earth, divinity and humanity is closed by the obedience, self-emptying and fidelity of the Son. This feast celebrates that on the cross Jesus overcomes these contradictions. We are drawn into the mystery of the cross as exaltation by our belief in the Son. Our believing bridges the space between God and us, between Life and death, between being saved or perishing. The cost- obedience, death. Yet eternal Life that is given is worth the cost! The question the gospel leaves with us is, How much do we believe?
The mystery of the cross challenges us to enter into pain, suffering and death as the means to Life. This mystery doesn’t make it any easier to accept pain, suffering and death; what it gives is meaning and depth. Like Jesus, we don’t empty ourselves for the sake of pain and suffering, we accept these for the sake of new Life-in the suffering is the glory.

Remain In Me

Have you ever wondered why a bride and groom cut the first slice of wedding cake and feed it to each other? What appears tobe a playful ritual at one time carried the symbolism of how they would feed each other by giving their bodies in love. Although so much of our eating today is on the run, we still have a strong sense within us that eating is an intimate act that binds people together.

God desires an intimate relationship with us. In our Gospel today, Jesus offers himself as food so that eating his flesh and drinking his blood, we remain in him and have life through him. Such an intimate communion with Jesus cannot end in death but continues in eternal life. Only by communion with Jesus can we ever share in his life. We have no choice but to partake.

Jesus does not mince words. Jesus says he gives his flesh to eat and his blood to drink. He promises eternal life to those who eat and drink. And he says that those who eat and drink would be intimately related to him. And he also says that all life is because of him. No, Jesus does not mince words.

We who eat his flesh and drink his blood, who partake in the risen Lord, are to live his risen life to the fullest.

Jesus is the source of our life at the same time, we can not forget that our communion with Jesus nourishes us to share that life with others. In this way we ourselves become bread for the life of others. We ourselves become the food upon which others draw their nourishment and strength, their hope and joy, their compassion and consolation. We ourselves become the bread of life for others. Our intimacy with Jesus calls us to the same intimacy with others.