Our goal in life, the reason God created us, is to know, love, and serve God in this life, so as to be happy with God forever in the next.
The Scripture readings today offer three things we need to do that will help us to get to heaven.
In the first reading the prophet Elijah is fleeing for his life. He is exhausted, and unable to keep going. But God provides for him. An angel gives him bread from made flesh who has become one of herheaven and something to drink and enables him to travel for 40 days to the place where he will be safe with God. Like Elijah, we need to trust God to help us, to give us what we need to keep going, particularly when life is difficult.
in today’s gospel, a continuation of John 6, the Bread of Life discourse,Jesus tells those listening to him that he is from heaven. Jesus is telling them that he is divine and they need to believe in him in order to have eternal life. We too need to believe that Jesus is God, the Word of God made flesh, who has become one of us, so that just as he shares in our humanity, we will be able to share in his divinity.
As the Bread of Life, Jesus offers himself to us - body, blood, soul, and divinity - so in the Eucharist. Through the Eucharist, Jesus is our food for the journey and enables us to live forever.
In the second reading, Paul tells the Christian community in Ephesus that they need to be imitators of God. There is no place for hatred or any ungodly behavior in their lives. Rather, to be a Christian is to be like Jesus: merciful and loving, and willing to offer oneself as a sacrifice to God.
Having heard God’s word, we ask the Lord to help us to trust God for all we need. We ask for the grace to believe in Jesus, the Bread of Life, so that he might show us the depth of the Father's love for us. And we need to imitate God, to be like Jesus, in order that we might live with him forever. Trust, belief, and imitation of the Lord will set us firmly on the path to heaven.