21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
John 6:60-69Today, Joshua called on the people to renew their covenant with God. In full freedom the Israelites responded.
In today's gospel, after the long discourse on the Eucharist, still the people left Jesus, claiming that it's hard to swallow this teaching. Jesus turned to his apostles and asked, "Are you also going to leave me?" The apostles responded, "To whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life?" They also believed that Jesus is the Holy One of God.
The closest covenant with Jesus is the covenant between husband and wife, when the two shall be one body. This connotes full freedom of two partners to enter into a contract. Even though God knows what will happen to us if we desert him, still he respects our full freedom to enter into his covenant.
The Eucharist is our covenant with Jesus: "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood" (Luke 22:20).
This covenant contains the following:
First, Jesus' responsibility to care for us - Jesus' action on the cross to forgive us and give us life.
Second, love that binds - A new covenant is created: "I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Jeremiah 31: 31–33). This is bound by a deep relationship with God and with one another based on love.
Third, our share in the covenant - to know, love, adore, and serve God is the deepest commitment we can ever give to God. This should be manifested in our new way of life: the way of love.