Arise and Shine: John 6:51-58

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.

I think the disciples and followers of Christ are a bit confused in the Gospel today. They are fixated more on what Christ is asking them to do rather than on what He wants to give them. They cannot get past his repeated invitation to eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood. They even quarrel, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (John 6:52) Why are they not focusing on what He is promising them?

Christ is offering them eternal life, and they cannot hear Him. He even spells out what He wants for them five different ways:

“Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:51)

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, AND I will raise him on the last day.” (John 6:54)

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” (John 6:56)

“…so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” (John 6:57)

“…whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:58)

But all they hear is “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,” and they don’t even hear “you do not have life within you.” (John 6:53)

Our nature as human doings is to focus more on what we have to do verses why we are doing it. When we recruit for Core Members, we often focus more on what we want from them verses what we want for them. We list all the expectations in a Core Member job description but rarely share what we hope they will receive. We know the blessing serving in Life Teen or Edge will be for them, but we rarely focus on that gift.

So what should we want for Core Members as they answer the call to serve? We should want them:

  • To grow in their personal relationship with Christ and fall deeply in love with Him
  • To learn more about their faith and the truths of the Church
  • To develop relationships with fellow Core Members, teens and parishioners to strengthen how they live out their Catholic faith in the world
  • To discover new gifts that God has given them and share the gifts they already know they exhibit
  • To love and be loved by Christ, the teens, the parish community, and fellow Core Members
  • To discover or strengthen their primary vocation
  • To embrace the sacraments and center their life on the Eucharist
  • To fully grasp the life God has created for them for all eternity

In John’s Gospel (John 6:51-58), He continually offers His body and His blood for one reason and one reason only; that we might have life. This life should be all we want for our teens, our Core Members, our family and friends. This year in ministry, I challenge you to look beyond what we want from our Core and teens and instead focus more on what we want for them. I believe it will change the way you minister and where you focus your prayer, time, and attention.

About the Author

Tricia Tembreull

Tricia Tembreull is a California girl with a Texas-size heart for hospitality. She said yes over twenty years ago to God’s call to youth ministry and never could’ve imagined the adventures and people He had planned for her to encounter along the way. She serves as a Parish Coach for Life Teen and joyfully travels around the globe training, empowering, and praying with youth ministers. When not on a plane, you can find Tricia in a church, spending time with family and friends, in the kitchen cooking up something delightful, or on the beach for an evening walk.

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