My kingdom, though I am risen, is not yet of this world.
John 6:1-15 for Friday of the Second Week of Easter.
Today in the Risen Christ we are at the start of a great chapter in his teaching, namely that of his Eucharistic Flesh and Blood.
Today and for seven more weekday Masses in a row, Christ gives us a Eucharistic Gospel.
We open our ears and lives to it even as we celebrate, worship, take, eat and drink his Eucharistic Flesh and Blood that rose from the dead.
The night before he died, he gathered his Church in an Upper Room in Jerusalem.
There he first gave his Church his Eucharistic Body and Blood to eat and drink.
The next day he died on a cross, and his Church hid in the Upper Room.
The sun went down, the Sabbath began, the sun rose and it went down again.
Then, before the sun rose anew over the land, Christ rose from death in Living Body and Blood, and came forth through the solid rock of his tomb.
And at the third sunset after his death he came through the solid walls of the Upper Room to let his Church see him in his Living Body and Blood.
But his apostle Thomas was not there.
A week later, Thomas at last came to the Upper Room, and Christ also came there to let the eyes, fingers, hands and will of Thomas also be in communion with Christ’s Living Body and Blood.
That was on the eighth day of the Risen Christ. On the fortieth he climbed bodily into the hidden glory of heaven.
But he had told his Church to wait in Jerusalem.
And so they did in the Upper Room until the fiftieth, that is, the Pentecost literally.
From his Last Supper through Pentecost, the Upper Room was the sacramental and spiritual home of his Church.
Even now here, you and I are the Church celebrating the mysteries of the Upper Room.
So, we live again the first season of the Risen Christ in the Upper Room.
Today in his Gospel, he shows us that he gives far more than bodily hunger needs.
In so doing and in rising from the dead, he stirs us to question our human hungers, feelings, thoughts, judgments, wills and deeds.
But he also goads us to see that perhaps we think wrongly of him.
Even in today’s Gospel he withdrew from the people to whom he had given more than they could eat, because he knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king.
And even on the day he was to go up to heaven, his Church still wanted an earthly kingdom.
Their bodily eyes, bodily ears, and bodily hands having known Christ risen bodily from the dead as their Lord and their God, they asked him for an earthly kingdom: Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? [Acts 1:6]
It is not for you….
So here we are now with the Risen Christ in the mystery of the Upper Room.
With him now here, we celebrate his Body and Blood that rose from the dead and are real food and real drink giving might to let even our bodily and spiritual lives climb out of death into the glory of heaven, a glory that is hidden for now.
Christ said his kingdom is not of this world, not this world as it is for now.
In the same way, the food he gave the crowd in today’s Gospel was more than worldly hunger needed.
And so the last line of today’s Gospel calls us away from any earthly kingdom.
It calls us as Christians to go more deeply into the Upper Room with the Risen Christ.
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
Turn. Love. Repeat.