Many of Jesus’disciples who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, “Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending
to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life,
while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.”
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said,
“For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father.”
As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer accompanied him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” JN 6:60-69
Today’s gospel ends the Bread of Life Discourse. Previously, Jesus said that we must “eat his flesh and drink his blood to have eternal life”. Since Jesus’ teaching was hard “many of his disciples returned to their former way of life”. The Eucharist is a mystery so it is hard to understand. If Jesus says it is His flesh and blood and institutes it at the Last Supper, then when He returns the first thing He does is break the bread, we should believe and not ask “why”. St. Padre Pio said, “The worst thing that ever happened was when people started asking “why””, meaning if Jesus says it is Truth it is Truth. God is Truth. In the early Church, all of the Church Fathers wrote about the Eucharist. The earliest Christians were breaking the bread in their homes. There are times when we have been the disciples that returned to their former way of life and left Jesus or did not really believe the Eucharist is Jesus. One of the saints said that if people really believed that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, we would need several police officers at Mass for crowd control. Jesus is present in the Eucharist simply because He said so. Stop asking why. He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” The way to the Father is through Jesus. May we answer Jesus like Peter, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” When Jesus’ teachings get hard, do we become a cafeteria Catholic or do we dig in and choose to trust and believe?
Today’s challenge: Go to Mass and worthily receive Jesus in the Eucharist believing He is truly present and alive. Go to Adoration this week and visit Jesus who is fully alive in the monstrance.
Become a saint!