The Good Word for August 16

For the complete Sunday readings click here.i-hate-selling-things

We had hail damage to our roof this summer. What a pain. Our neighborhood was hit pretty hard so for the next month swarms of roofing companies came through trying to convince us to look at replacing our roof. With every guy that came to my door, I had to make a decision. I had to decide whether I might trust him enough to work on my house. I had to decide whether he was trustworthy and if he worked for a reputable company.

When it comes to our faith, we have to make a decision about Jesus. Are we going to believe Jesus? Do we believe that Jesus is who he says he is? C.S. Lewis, the writer of the Narnia books, says in his book Mere Christianity that there are only three answers to the question about who is Jesus. Lewis says that Jesus is either 1) a lunatic, because he really believes he is God, but isn’t; 2) a liar, because he knows he isn’t God, but keeps telling people he is and thus a very bad man; or 3) God almighty, and is telling us the truth.

So, who is Jesus?

Many people believe that Jesus is just a good guy or a wisdom figure, but not exactly God. But Lewis explains that Jesus can’t be just a good guy, because good guys don’t pretend to be God. He is either crazy, evil, or God.

Which is true?

In the gospel this Sunday, Jesus teaches that he bread of life and his flesh is the life of the whole world. The Jewish crowd responds by grumbling and questioning Jesus’ teaching.

Jesus says “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”

The crowd that heard Jesus preach had decided that Jesus was a good teacher and maybe a miracle worker, but not the Son of God. The teaching that Jesus could give them his flesh and through that gift save the world was too much for them. Further along in the gospel they leave and stop listening to Jesus. Only the disciples stay. Why? Because they believe that Jesus is God!

So the question is before you, “Who is Jesus?” If Jesus is God and this weekend he is preaching that the Eucharist is his true flesh, then how does that make your Mass experience different? If you believe Jesus, then the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. If the Eucharist is truly God, then we aren’t just going to Mass for familiar songs and a comforting homily. We are going to Mass to meet and physically consume God Almighty.

Live It:

Make a decision! Think and pray about what you believe about Jesus. Make an intentional decision. Before Sunday, think about how your decision impacts how you go to Mass.

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