Gospel John 6:60-69
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."
+Come Holy Spirit Creator Blessed, and in our souls, take up your fest. Amen.
"Does this shock you?" Jesus speaks these words, after he hears them murmuring; "This saying is hard, who can accept it?" When we feel something 'beyond us' or 'too much to accept!' we have a tendency to stop moving forward. When fear enters our hearts , the movement of trust and love towards God feels constrained and our heart almost feels 'arrested' unable to move. Perhaps these are the potentially greatest moments. They are moments of Grace. It is in these moments of grace, that the enemy often appears quite slyly and disguised: he will try to tempt us to doubt God's Word, to doubt God's Goodness and to doubt God's Gifts. He will tempt us to pull back from God and not trust His Love.
When I was 35 (I had been a Missionary of Charity for almost 10 years) the Lord spoke something shocking to me. It was very hard to accept at the time yet I did. It was hard to accept because it came as a complete surprise. It was hard to accept because I couldn't wrap my mind and heart around it all and so I felt shocked, as if my heart was dealt a sudden great blow. When I was told I didn't have the health for the vocation of a Missionary of Charity and I would have to return home after 9 1/2 years in the order, I felt an overwhelming sense of shock and pain. It was the hardest 'saying' yet, that I have ever had 'to accept' from Jesus, in my life. I can recall some of what that shock felt like; it left me speechless and for some moments totally immobilized. But it also did something else to me, inside my heart; it carried life-God's life. I felt incredibly alive in the midst of the pain. The encounter with Christ by His Words through my superior, somehow communicated the Giver of the gift/grace. From that moment on, I felt myself living at a very high pitch- I call it grace. I didn't understand what Jesus was saying to me fully. His words seemed hard to take. To pull back from Him at that moment, and to stop moving forward with Jesus was clearly not the answer. There was only one answer -it was simple in itself, but difficult to do. The answer was to receive His Word in my heart and to not doubt the gift that was hidden and to keep moving with Him. It took faith but more so, I think it just took trust in His Love.
At times, It can appear that what God is asking is overwhelming and is more than the mind can grasp or wrap itself around, it is mystery and so we run the risk of rejecting the gift and so rejecting the Giver of the Gift because we don't understand. At these times, it is a very good thing to stay put where He is (which is the present moment) and to wait on Him. To wait and receive what He is asking us to receive. To trust the Giver of the gift is to be grateful for the gift. Gratitude allows the mind and heart to 'catch up' to the reality of the gift given by God. Gratitude brings us the greatest graces. Gratitude takes Faith. Gratitude receives the gift even before its understood and this is most pleasing to Jesus.
What is Jesus asking of you to believe and trust that seems shocking and difficult to do? What is He asking of you in the present moment to receive with Faith? Do you believe in His love for you?
Prayer: "Jesus in my heart, I believe in your tender love for me, I love you Jesus." (Mother Teresa)