God asked the Israelites enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt to take a male unblemished lamb, kill it, smear the blood on the doorpost, and then eat it. The last part commanded of them was the consumption of the lamb. That if they did everything else and yet had not consumed the lamb, their first born would not have been spared. Some of the Egyptian gods had faces of rams and lambs. By participating in Passover, the slaves were killing and consuming symbols of the gods of Egypt and then publicly proclaiming their actions in the blood over their door. A public declaration of their allegiance to I AM. There were no doorpost for the Israelites in the desert and yet through the consumption of the lamb, the unleavened bread, and wine the Passover feast was still valid.
This fact of salvation through consumption is made clear in todays Gospel when Jesus proclaims “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you” (JN 6:53). There is only one true food and true drink and we have the grace to receive it every Sunday at mass. We have the opportunity at mass have eternal life and remain in the Father when we recieve and consume His Body and Blood. In that moment Jesus’ sacrifice becomes our sacrifice, Jesus’ love becomes our love, Jesus’ offering becomes our offering, and Heaven meets Earth. In that moment there is a myriad of Angels praising the Lord and singing “Alleluia!”
In todays first reading with Saul we can see what happens through sin, anger, distancing ourselves from God, and feeding on things of the Earth. Saul, in his journey of anger, falls in the site of the great light of Christ. In this moment His evil deeds were brought to light, God called him out, and he stumbled. When we go to confession Gods shines light on where we have stumbled, loves us in His mercy through absolution, and calls us out of ourselves in how to live. Saul’s blindness to sin is revealed when he didn’t recognize Jesus. He then becomes literally blind and stops eating. When we are slave to our sins we are spiritually blind to our actions or how God can be intervening. We are also feeding on Earthly pleasures but without Jesus in us we do not have life within us.
Even in sin, anger, and blindness God tells Ananias that Saul is a chosen instrument of His (Acts 9:15). Ananias then fills his instrumental role and scales fall from Sauls eyes. Scales are once again a sign of sin through the serpent (Devil). Saul proclaims Jesus’ name and can see, is spritually fed, and fully alive. Let us, as men, raise each other up in prayer this weekdend, proclaiming the name of Jesus, and giving thanksgiving to the one who raises us up through the one true food and true drink. Alleluia!