The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever." John 6:51-58
Musing on the growth of human knowledge, Socrates
said: “The more we know, the more we know that we don’t know.” In recent years,
that’s been proven over and over by the mysterious Black Holes and exploding Nova’s
of a vastly, expanding universe. And now, Socrates is being proven right once again
in studies of the very smallest elements of the universe.
For over two millennia, philosophers had theorized
that all matter was composed of irreducible building blocks they called atoms.
Then in the 20th Century, the irreducible got reduced. The atom was
split and what had languished in arcane philosophical discussion suddenly became
a cosmic source of power. Einstein explained it all in his Universal Theory of
Relativity… except, that he hadn’t explained it all. In the 21st
Century, we’re probing String Theory exceptions to Einstein, new sub-atomic
particles called Quarks and an even newer one called Higgs’ Boson. Confident
once again that they’ve reached the end of the trail, scientist have dubbed
this latest discovery the “God Particle.”
If understanding Creation has proven such an endless
quest, imagine how much greater the task of understanding the Creator. That’s
one reason there is Jesus. As we see in this week’s gospel, Jesus is the real
God Particle. He is the essential element. He is both God and Man. He is the
bridge from our limited human perception to the unimaginable power of the
Creator. Through him the awesome Deity is framed in human concepts we can
understand, like the Father and the Son. He has translated divine love and
grace into the tangible substances of bread and wine and used them as transformative
media for us to become one with his flesh and blood. Throughout his public
ministry, we see Jesus reshaping the concept of the tribal God of Israel into
the Creator, Savior and Sanctifier of all.
No wonder the home-town folks are stunned. Try taking all that in at a single seating,
especially when it’s coming from an itinerant carpenter whose family
connections are less than the best. But Jesus is here to teach us to love, to
heal us and transform us, to live, to die and to rise again to the Father. He
doesn’t have the time or the inclination to conduct six-credit theology courses
at every turn. He puts himself fearlessly forward, channeling his grace to all
who would receive it. His ministry is one of attraction, not of argumentation
and compulsion. His life and death will write the text for others to transcribe.
The Bread of Life, our window onto the will of the
Father, our portal to eternal life…all this and more from Jesus, our God and
our Brother. We have found the real God Particle. But there is still so much
more to know about the genius that created all and the love that redeems all.
In prayer and in scripture, in faith and in love, let’s know him more and more with
every passing every day.