Human beings are made for relationship; we long to be connected to someone. A young mother who had been adopted in infancy shared with me her experience of motherhood. She said that she finally felt biologically connected to someone. Even as she said this, there was a glow on her face that revealed a deeper connection which she experiences with her child. There was something she could not explain. It was a mystery she was enjoying.
In today’s readings, Jesus offers a connection which is mysterious. To our Western minds, a mystery is a challenge to be solved. The true meaning of mystery is something that is continually being revealed. It is multi-faceted and pregnant with meaning. The people to whom Jesus is speaking cannot wrap their minds around the mystery. They are disgruntled and angry because Jesus’ words shatter their understanding of the law. Anyone who was involved in human sacrifice was unclean, so how could Jesus offer his flesh for them to eat?
Jesus, as he does on so many occasions, turns the conventional world upside down. He is offering a mysterious connection with the divine—but only those who listen with their hearts will know what Jesus is speaking about. Today, as we gather to celebrate the Eucharist, let us hear Jesus with our hearts. Let us sit in the presence of the mystery and enjoy the divine connection!