For several weeks, we are in St. John’s Gospel, especially the 6th chapter where he talks in great length about Jesus himself being bread from heaven and that this bread is the key to everlasting life. But if Jesus is giving himself to us as the nourishment for our souls, what should come from that? What should be the results?
They are clearly stated in the excerpts from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
“Get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander, malice of every kind. In place of these things, be kind to one another, compassionate and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ.”
Once again, these are not just words. They are something of a job description for those who strive to walk in the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth. We are all aware of the fact that there is a lot of pain around us, a lot of hurt, a lot of disappointment. In a moment of honesty, we could admit that we ourselves cause a certain amount of that pain. But if we are receiving the Eucharist on a regular basis, if we prepare for Communion properly, and we meditate on its constancies, we should become far more gentle. We should strive for the opportunity to be kind to people and patient. Patience – ah – there is the word.
It is easy enough to be patient with the people around us who are extraordinarily polite, generous and sensitive, but what about that obnoxious jerk? He was malformed in his growing process and does little to endear himself to the people around him. Aren’t we challenged to be patient with him as well?