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JN 6: 51-58
10th S.after Pentecost

If we're to make any impact for God on the life of the world, even our own small bit of it, like Jesus we have to become bread for it. Give our humanity for it. ('Flesh' translates very adequately as 'humanity', I suggest.)

Commensality was dear to Jesus' heart. It was central to the way he related to people. Here, his talking of flesh & blood as food & drink (or what he's remembered / (re-)interpreted much later as saying about them!) may seem too abstract for many of us to be bothered with today. But maybe commensality is a way of actually taking part in what Jesus advocates here, (re-)interpreting it yet again? Surely sharing food & drink across as wide a range of people as Jesus eats & drinks with is one way we can share our humanity, & bring others new life in the process as a foretaste for us all of being raised at the last day.

Seriously as I take eucharistic 'eating & drinking', to confine what Jesus says about food & drink to the altar (which can't be what he was talking about, & where, let's be honest, there's little meaningful commensality except, maybe, between Jesus & us) is to deprive ourselves & others of the multi- dimensionalism of all Jesus says & does.

If we were to take household table commensality seriously, within congregation & wider community, & the incomparable sacramental experience of it at the altar equally seriously, might we not have a 'recipe' for bringing this passage to life? Bringing congregation & community to life? Ourselves to life? And all of us sharing a foretaste of being raised at the last day as only Jesus can raise us!

P.S. Leon Morris [John, Eeerdman, '71, ad loc.] quotes Westcott as suggesting Jesus' imagery is about 'voluntarily taking something external to ourself, assimilating it, and making it part of ourself'. In which case, may we have grace to do this to such an extent that God is no longer external to us at all but dwelling in us well & truly. Then, go about sharing the God within as food & drink for others.