APRIL 24. EASTER. Wk. 3. Sat. Jn. 6. 60-69
After hearing his doctrine (of the Holy Eucharist) many of the followers of Jesus said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before?
‘It is the spirit that gives life,
the flesh has nothing to offer.
The words I have spoken to you are spirit
and they are life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.’
For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on, ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him.’ After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.
Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’
In this Gospel Jesus is faced with a common problem, even today, and that is the many people who profess to be his friends and followers; - but who did not believe in his teachings; - despite multiple miracles being performed in front of their eyes; - and recorded in the Gospels!
O, how important is our Faith, and yet how undervalued? A major aspect of Christ’s Mission on Earth was to save our souls from eternal damnation and, as a result, he was preaching the Truth; - but many of those he was teaching refused to believe?
In this case, they were refusing to accept the real presence of the Eucharist, despite the fact, in making this Sacrament available, he was giving them a gift that bore witness to the depth of his love; - and would sustain them throughout their earthly pilgrimage; - in the same way God had provided his people with “manna from heaven” during their Old Testament pilgrimage.
Christ was offering his followers ‘The Sacrament of his Love’; - and many were responding by turning their backs and walking away; - a response that must have hurt him immensely; - but it is a response that continues to this day, with many refusing to believe!
Jesus’ response to this lack of belief was to foreshadow his final miracle, when he was to be observed ascending into heaven; - a final miracle demonstrating clearly, he came from God, and he was God; - but even after that he knew they would still not believe!
So, he then turned to his disciples asking; - ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’
And Peter gave the response Christ was hoping for from all his followers, namely; - “Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; - we know that you are the Holy One of God.’
This is the statement of Faith Christ wants all his followers to believe, as something we can easily forget is Christ’s teachings reveal The Truth; - something we should all wish to know?
We also need to be aware; - Faith is a gift; - one we should seek and be eternally grateful for!