This saying is hard; who can accept it?

Greetings on this the Saturday of the Third Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 9:31-42; PS 116:12-13, 14-15, 16-17; Jn 6:60-69

Note: The Bread of Life discourse Gospel of John Chapter 6 precedes today’s gospel portion.

Jesus’ teaching on the bread of life discourse has many disconcerted.

This saying is hard; who can accept it?

Jesus gives one more predictive proof: What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? This will give them a second chance to believe very soon after this dialog with Jesus. Today, we know this is the Ascension of the Lord we celebrate in a few weeks time, May 16th.

But there are some of you who do not believe. As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer walked with him (Jn 6:64a, 66).

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 6:67-69).

We may ask why is this saying so hard? Some possible answers:

  1. Resurrection is not a part of your conceptual possibilities. i.e., afterlife is not your hope.
  2. The guidelines Moses gave to assess prophets are ignored.
  3. Jesus is presumed to be worldly origin alone (son of Joseph, Nazareth).
  4. His miracles are real but inferior to Moses Exodus. The bread miracles in particular.

Maybe you, my reader, can relate to a few of the answers above?
Maybe your questions are more like below?

  1. Eating flesh is cannibalism.
  2. Eating flesh causes death.
  3. Eating flesh cannot be repeated.

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.

Jesus is saying that looking at eating flesh merely as a natural thing would not bring you to the truth. It is a communion of Spirit and flesh, together.

If you really want to stick with the natural understanding alone perhaps this analogy will help.

When a Mother breastfeeds her baby:

  1. Breastfeeding is cannibalism?
  2. Breastfeeding causes death?
  3. Breastfeeding cannot be repeated?

You would say instead, no, breastfeeding is naturally designed sharing between mother and child.

  1. Mother shares milk freely and without dissipation.
  2. Mother can provide breastmilk a very long time.
  3. Mother can feed the baby every day, multiple times per day.

The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.

Come to the banquet of heaven and earth.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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