Scripture reading reflection


By Fr. Andrew Kelly


How does a believing community keep itself alive and vibrant? This is an important spiritual question as many communities are struggling with their very life or death as community. Sunday’s Gospel (John 5:51-58) suggests the fundamental reason for life and vibrancy in a community is its relationship to the Lord’s Word, body and blood. In other words, the Sunday Eucharist. Jesus in John’s Gospel basically says: no Eucharist, then no living vibrant community.

“‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life …Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.”


It is the week in and week out gathering for the Eucharist that deepens both the individual and communal relationship with the risen Lord. The more the relationship deepens, the more the Lord abides in the community. It is this Lord’s abiding presence alone that keeps a community alive and vibrant.

(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)

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