Friday, August 7, 2015

Attraction to Jesus

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
August 9, 2015

John 6:41-51

The evangelist John repeats very strong expressions and images again and again to remind everyone they must draw close to Jesus to find a source of new life in him. A vital principle that isn't comparable to anything they've ever experienced before.

Jesus is "bread come down from heaven." He is not to be confused with just any source of life. In Jesus Christ, we can nourish ourselves with strength, light, hope, a breath of life ... that come from the mystery of God, the Creator of life. Jesus is "the bread of life."

That is precisely why it's not possible to meet him any which way. We have to go to the deepest part of ourselves, open ourselves to God, and hear what the Father is saying to us. Nobody can feel real attraction to Jesus, "unless the Father who sent [him] draw him."

The most attractive thing about Jesus is his ability to give life. Whoever believes in Jesus and gets in touch with him, knows a different life of a new sort, a life that somehow now belongs to God's world. John dares to say that "whoever eats this bread will live forever."

If, in our Christian communities, we don't feed on contact with Jesus, we will continue to neglect what is most essential and decisive in Christianity. Therefore, nothing is more crucial pastorally than taking good care of our relationship with Jesus Christ.

If, in the Church, we don't feel drawn by that God incarnated in such a humane, warm and cordial man, nobody will get us out of the state of mediocrity in which we're usually immersed. No one will encourage us to go further than required by our institutions. No one will encourage us to go further than our traditions indicate.

If Jesus doesn't feed us with his Spirit of creativity, we will remain trapped in the past, living out our faith based on forms, conceptions and sensibilities born and developed in other eras and for other times that are not ours. But then Jesus won't be able to count on our cooperation to breed and nourish faith in the hearts of men and women today.

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