Wisdom prepares a feast, sets her table, and invites all to come and eat her bread and drink her wine. The first chapter of John’s gospel owes much to the biblical tradition that imagined Wisdom as existing before anything was created and having a role in the work of creation. Christ, the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24), today invites us to eat his flesh and drink his blood. John’s gospel includes no account of the institution of the Lord’s supper, but here we can’t help hearing Jesus’ words as an invitation to the meal of bread and wine we share.
Readings and Psalm
Invited to dine at wisdom’s feast
Those who seek the Lord lack nothing that is good. (Ps. 34:10)
Filled with the Spirit, sing thanks to God
Christ the true food and drink
Today Jesus invites us to a meal. It is an extraordinary invitation to do an ordinary thing: form bonds of love and community through shared food and drink. Like Wisdom inviting us to the feast of insight (Prov. 9:1-6), Jesus’ invitation to share in the meal of his body and blood teaches us about the breadth and depth of God’s love and about God’s desire for us to abide in that love (John 6:56).
Jesus’ audience asks a reasonable question: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (John 6:52). Jesus’ answer doesn’t really address the question; instead, he reiterates that he is the true bread from heaven, the true source of eternal life. This must have been off-putting to his listeners. Eat flesh? Drink blood? And yet, here we find a profoundly grace-filled invitation—abide in me—and a promise: through this meal I abide in you. We are invited to not only join Jesus at the table, but to be at home in the love of God, knowing that Christ makes his home in our hearts and lives too. So come: eat, and get to know God.