[Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b | Psalm 34 | Ephesians 5:21-32 | + John 6:60-69]
[__01] Could we define a mystery as something without a beginning and/or an end.
This would be a general – everyday English-language - definition of a mystery. Something without a beginning and/or an end, something without a start and/or a finish.
[__02] This happens in fictional narratives, on the screen or on the page [although the screen now is the page. Yet, one more mystery.].
On the screen or on the printed page we may not catch a glimpse of [learn] the ultimate fate/destiny of certain characters. The ending is mysterious.
Or, we may not comprehend – in a particular story – the origins / the motive of a particular character. The beginning is mysterious.
Or, sometimes, both points on the spectrum are obscure, mysterious.
[__03] In our Gospel reading this Sunday, early disciples and observers also find the introduction of the Holy Eucharist to be mysterious. And, to some of them, unreasonable, implausible.
Last Sunday we read, they were quarreling among themselves, asking, about Jesus, how “this man” can give us his flesh to eat?” (cf. John 6:51-58)
[__04] A mystery is something without a beginning or an end, without a clearly defined start or finish.
[__05] The 7 sacraments of our Catholic Church are mysteries, encounters with the Holy Spirit who also has neither a beginning nor an end.
God created the world, everything in the world. God created you and me, gave us our lives. Of this mystery – which is non-fiction – he is the author.
This means God intervenes and has a plan for our lives, one which gradually unfolds for us.
[__06] In this regard, because you and I are cared for by God, we are also made eternal, endless.
We believe, in particular, our lives are changed/altered – but not ended – with death. There is life beyond this earth.
[__07] Over the past few Sundays, we have been reading from the Gospel of John, chapter 6. The beginning of this chapter was mysterious. A miracle took place in the first paragraph, anticipating the later miracle of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
This was the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes for the hungry crowd
A miracle can also be a mystery. In the feeding of the 5,000 plus men, women, and children, from where did all the food/nourishment originate? Beginning?
In the miracle of the Holy Eucharist – there is the transformation – transubstantiation – of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, what is its provenance? Starting point? The motive ?
[__08] The beginning – the motive – that we cannot see – is God’s love for us.
And, the Passion of our Lord, the Holy Eucharist indicate God’s love for us.
In every day life, we do not see – or may not comprehend – the sacrifices which others make for us. We may not personally know their motives.
The Holy Eucharist is given to us as God’s personal touch, the Lord’s personal memorial – of his suffering and death.
We read in the 1st letter of John –
“Love, then, consists in this: not that we have loved God, but that he has loved us and has sent his Son as an offering for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
The mystery is something we receive. And, the Lord wants us to receive a taste, a touch, of eternal life – and communion - through the Body and Blood of Christ.
[__09] What effect – emotion – does a good mystery have on our minds? Hearts?
Mysteries – in general terms – have the power to entertain, to distract. We may lose focus on other aspects of life. The mystery may help us to relax, to rest.
However, in this sense, the mystery – in all its Hollywood/Bollywood glory is about suspense. And, we too may only be suspended , removed from everyday life, temporarily, for 143 minutes at the Garden State Plaza Clearview Cinema, or 268 pages on the Amazon Kindle.
A mystery – in all its glory of God – is not meant to remove us from everyday life.
Rather we believe that our “suspense” is really a conversion, an elevation of our hearts and minds to God.
St. Therese of Lisieux writes of the elevation in this way, “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and love, embracing both trial and joy.” (CCC 2558) 
And, by focusing on God’s love for us, our beginning, we can more clearly comprehend our true calling in life, where we are going and what our true ending is in God’s real presence.