In communion we remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection to the Father. In the sharing of the meal we use the bread and the juice (or wine) to remind us of the physical sacrifice that gave us spiritual life. In communion we celebrate the fact that Jesus is still present with us and still offers Himself daily.
The day after the miracle of feeding the 5,000 the crowd gathers again. Jesus senses that they came not to believe in Him but simply to get another free meal. So He calls them on it. After this “hard teaching” many turn away and leave Jesus. The masses do not understand what is really being offered.
Sometimes in the celebration of communion we miss the significance too. It can be all ritual and no connection. The outpouring of the confessions of our heart should be deep and passionate. It should mirror what Jesus did for us. It should not simply be bread and juice. In communion, Jesus awaits us in Spirit; in the act of communion we should expect to meet Jesus there.
After many leave and fall away, Jesus asks the disciples if they are leaving too. Sometimes I sense Jesus asking us the same question. Peter answers for the group: “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” His confession is still true today. There is no one else to turn to. Jesus alone offers eternal life. When we waver, when it appears that we are beginning to turn away, may we recall Pater’s confession and return to the giver of life, Jesus Christ.
Scripture reference: John 6: 56-69