This one is a challenge for some. The Epistle is plain enough, speaking of the need for tradition. But what of the Gospel? Jesus said something here which a lot of folks pass by – that there are yet more things to tell, but they cannot bear them at that time. And are we any more capable? But wait – this is what Gnostics and a lot of others teach!
Is there more? Many have pursued that question, as do I!
All that, and a sacrament too!
The epistle with today’s Holy Communion offers us something which we know, but many seem to have forgotten. It’s kind of like how when I was a teenager I thought of all the “freedom” I would have as an adult, and then I reached adulthood and found that the freedom came with a package of responsibilities!
Life is like that, and those who think that they have been given something special that goes beyond this life have an added challenge. Most of us have known someone who thought that The Divine put him or her “above all that”, but here we are reminded of the fact that quite the contrary, we are in the midst of “all that” and are a part of “all that”.
And with our Communion, we have an issue before us which is as relevant today as it was at the time of the Resurrection. Jesus says outright that he is the good shepherd. He points out the difference between the shepherd and the hireling. Simply put, the sheep are the shepherd’s. And one of the problems we see today is when sheep mistake a hirelng for the shepherd – or for that matter, when a hireling tries to be the shepherd. And we can all appreciate the distinction!
Bishop Cal (a hireling)
And here, with our Holy Communion, we see the power of fulfillment! There they were, locking themselves in that room for fear of the crowds, and suddenly he appears with what had to be a very sudden “Shalom!”. Well, they were happe to see him, and they had ample proof of what he had accomplished. And then, he gives them some authority and responsibility.
Look and see! It really happened! And it’s there for each and every one of us, too!