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Words of Eternal Life
Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen [me], you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.”
Opening Prayer: All glory to you, Father God! Thank you for sending your Son to rescue me from sin and eternal death! Your words are Truth and Life! Help me to etch them into my heart.
- Hungering and Thirsting: Every human heart hungers and thirsts for love, satisfaction, and purpose in life. Yet, the world dupes us and we chase our tails, which can lead us down rabbit holes of materialism, secularism, and falsehoods about our self-worth. In these lines of scripture, Jesus tells us succinctly that he is what we hunger and thirst for! We need only to come to him and believe in him. Jesus pleads with us to come. His compassionate eyes are full of understanding for our messy lives, strained relationships, brokenness, and confusion. At times, our pride, lack of trust, inability to detach from people or things, or worldly attractions divert our attention from the eternal life Jesus longs to give. Jesus chided the people he spoke to, and likewise us, when he said, “…although you have seen [me], you do not believe.” If we were more fervent in our belief in Jesus, how might we demonstrate it?
- “…I Will Not Reject Anyone Who Comes to Me…”: This has to be one of the most profound promises Jesus makes to us! No sin is so big that it will cause Jesus to exclude us if we come to him! Let us savor these words, repeat them often, memorize them, and share them! Rejection is a part of the human experience, causing deep wounds, and perhaps making us fearful about coming to Jesus, but Jesus longs to heal us. Belief implies deep trust and we can trust Jesus will never reject us when we express sorrow for our sins. Meditating on the crucifix, reciting Romans 5:8, “…while we were still sinners Christ died for us,” burns this truth into our hearts.
- The Father’s Will: Doing the Father’s will isn’t just Jesus’s greatest desire; it’s his mission! He spoke of his doing the Father’s will and told us what the Father’s will was three times in five verses! The repetition of his words indicates a high level of importance. “And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day.” The last day will be here before we know it! Jesus has won the battle for our souls, but we know people stuck behind “enemy lines.” We have opportunities daily to rescue them, or at least throw them a lifeline. How often do we engage in conversations of eternal consequence?
Conversing with Christ: Thank you, Lord, for this time of prayer and reflection on your word. I am in awe of you. I hear you say “Come” and I run to your embrace. I hear you say “Believe” and I do believe, and pray to trust you even more. Lord, give me a heart for other souls.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace, I will by words and actions throw a “lifeline” to someone I encounter.
For Further Reflection: Listen to Fr. John Riccardo’s reading of “I Thirst,” https://youtu.be/NRVu1exlui0.
Written by Janice Neyer