The Questions of Jesus: "Does this shock you?"

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the father ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever." This he said in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Does this shock you?" (John 6:53–61)

Jesus is obedience incarnate. He is nothing other and nothing less than everything the Father gives to him. To consume his words, to consume his works, to consume his example, and, in the end, to consume his very life--his body, his blood--is to receive nothing other than his uninterrupted obedience to the Father. Those who eat his flesh and drink his blood receive this direct gift through him, that they may all be one, as you Father are in me, and I am in you (John 17:21).

"Does it shock you" that this gift would be so simple? "Does it shock you" that he gives what he receives and holds nothing back? "Does it shock you" that we who receive him receive everything? "Does it shock you" that his gift calms our jittery hearts and tames our wandering desires? "Does it shock you" that his life becomes our life, a life we share in common and give freely to others?

To receive Jesus can never be reduced to a merely intellectual exercise or only an affair of the affections. He who receives everything from the Father and offers everything back to the Father gives everything of himself to us: his body, his blood. To live means to receive from him and be transformed through his gift to give of our very selves in his company.