TO WHOM SHALL WE GO, LORD, YOU HAVE THE MESSAGE OF ETERNAL LIFE
(Saturday, May 11 2019)
This week we have been reading through the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel. This chapter which is one of the longest chapters in this gospel is very significant because of its revelation of the mystery of the Eucharist. It is to show how important the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ is that the whole of chapter six of this gospel is devoted in Jesus' discourse on the Holy Eucharist and the need to make this Sacrament the center of all we do in the Church. In the gospel of yesterday, Jesus made it clear that His presence is in the Eucharistic species. Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you.”
In today’s gospel, the disciples remarked that the words of Jesus are “hard teaching.” Yet, Jesus did not soften His words or water down His teaching to make it more palatable to our fallen sensibilities. He is asking our trust that surpasses our senses, He is asking for our trust in Him! We must profess our Faith even when we do not understand the whole mystery that surrounds Jesus' teachings. Most of the time, “faith preceeds understanding.” You must first believe that Jesus does have the words of eternal life before you will understand those words. It is interesting to note that the Eucharist was a pivotal point for even Jesus’ earliest disciples. Those who did not accept this teaching returned to their former way of life.
This attitude of many disciples of Jesus that left Him today in the gospel because of His doctrine of salvation is happening today among us. How often do many of us trivialize those things we ought to revere? One of those things is the Word of God. Because we hear it almost every time many no longer value it as that which brings life to the soul. Again, how do we value the Holy Eucharist and make it part and parcel of our Christian lives? It is no more a news that many Catholics no longer derive joy in coming to Mass with flimsy excuses to back up their nonchalant attitude and lack of reverence to the Holy Eucharist.
This attitude no doubt is equivalent to those of Christ's disciples who left Him in the gospel and went away to their normal business. Becoming ever more distant to Catholic Eucharistic life, many fallen away Catholics begin to claim that the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is false teaching, and they begin spouting errors like, “you don’t need to go to Mass in order to be a good Christian.” Even among those who are still with the Church, many neither believe in the efficacy of the Holy Mass nor on the healing effect Holy Eucharist. Jesus in the gospel asked His disciples "what about you? Are you staying or leaving? Peter speaks for them and for all of us, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” We have chosen to stay because Jesus gives ultimate meaning to our lives. May our lives witness our faith in Him for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls.
The first reading still emphasized on the activities of the early Church. Today we see how St. Peter went about visiting different Churches and at the same time strengthening them in their faith. The action of Peter in this reading is a clear indication that he was duty-conscious in discharging his role as the head of the College of the Apostles and the entire Church.
Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to follow you and to do your will always. May your grace and mercy rest upon me always. Amen.