Today’s readings focus on the lasting and abiding nature of the Life that God gives us through Jesus, the Bread of Life; it is real and true food and drink with an eternal outcome, as Jesus says: “the one who eats this bread will live forever.”
This is no ordinary bread! Yet, it is obvious too, that Christians do not possess the Holy Grail, we do suffer and we do die, like anyone else. What is it then to live forever?The perspective of God compared to our reality is very different, and yet here is also clear invitation to share in God’s life and perspective even though we are limited in our experience and expression of this reality.
When it comes to perspective and understanding how different God’s view of this life is compared to our humble perceptions.
There are very few times when human words are able to convey how big the gap in understanding can be.
One example was reminded to me by Able Shepherd when I first became involved with this SL community.
He quoted from a prayer that was found at Ravensbruck Concentration Camp (1945) and it so struck me that I went and found the reference:
In the book: 2000 Years of Prayer by Michael Counsell, there is a Chapter: Prayers From two World Wars.
The Ravensbruck Prayer is on p469, it was found beside a dead child, and it goes like this:
O Lord, remember not only the men and
women of goodwill, but also those of ill will.
But do not only remember all the suffering they have inflicted;
remember the fruits we bought, thanks to this suffering, –
our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity,
the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this,
and when they come to judgement, let all the fruits which we have borne
be their forgiveness.
It takes an extraordinary leap of faith to be able to say this prayer meaningfully; and it demonstrates an amazing difference in perspective than any ordinary person would have.
Today as I reflected on this prayer I felt it helped me to understand the nature of the Bread of Life that Jesus gives, which leads to eternal life.
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