Unity in Believing
12th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
August 22, 2021
Readings: Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-25
This is the 4th Sunday where Christ is teaching us that He is the Bread of life. Many of the teachings during this season we hear it only once. But for this particular one, we hear it four times.
If you remember in the wilderness, God took care of the children of Israel for 40 years. No one was hungry. They were fed every day. And yet the people were murmuring and complaining. They did not live out the law so they were not allowed to enter the promise land. These were people baptized into Moses. Doesn’t this tell us something? We have been baptized into Christ. Jesus comes from heaven and is therefore the Bread of life. We have to accept this with a spiritual understanding.
1 John 4:9 This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.
In today’s gospel, Christ was speaking to the Jews in the synagogue. “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:54)
The necessity of walking with Christ. If we eat His flesh and drink His blood but do not walk in His ways, could it mean that He will not raise us up in the last day?
This powerful message speaks of unity. That when we partake of the Communion, we become one with Christ. We need to hear spiritually and not fleshly. No one can face eternity without Christ. Christ came to bring back the unity to bring us back to God. Christ’s existence came from heaven so that He could reunite us to the Father. No one can go into heaven except through Christ. When the people were debating, Christ wasn’t defending Himself. He said ‘The day will come when you will believe.”
We spend so much of the time thinking in the flesh, when in reality if we think spiritually, this brings more power. In Christianity we have to accept that Christ is the final authority. What does God say? What is His path way? “The words I have spoken to you are life.” “I am the Bread of life. Feed on Me, let it be the foundation of your life.”
Hebrews 4:2 “For we also have heard the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.”
We need to believe that things should be like it is in heaven, if we want His will to be done in our lives. Our answer is in Christ. He is our hope and strength. He is the brain and heart of how great God really is.
Christ bore stripes for our healing and yet we are not living a healed life. We do not have confidence and therefore we battle and struggle. Christ somehow knew that people were struggling to understand what He was talking about because He knew what they were thinking. Christ knows man. He knows us. Which is why we need to accept what He is telling us. Some of His disciples left because they were just with Him for what they could get from Him.
We should love unity. We should hate separation. The flesh and spirit have to work together. We will only have the fullness if these two are in unity. More than just partaking of the Eucharist itself, we have to accept what it is doing in our lives when we obey and follow Him. People can take the Eucharist lightly and not apply God’s principles and it will not save them. The eating and drinking is not the final action. If we are not walking in the life of Christ, then it’s useless. We’ve got to see things the way Christ sees things. Seeing Christ in us, leading and guiding us.
The new life he gave us means we are to set aside the old and expect Him to turn things into good. Instead of seeing evil in everything, we need to see the good. We should meditate on Christ’s life to the point that we truly accept what He has done. Christ in us the Hope of Glory. We are His body. If we have received Christ then we should walk like Him. We have been brought into a perfect bond with Christ. This is the hope that we have in Christ.
The message speaks so much about how we should live out His life. His words are life to us. We won’t find life anywhere except from the Bread of life. We may fail at times yes, but what matters is what’s in the heart. It should be a heart that listens and follows God.