The Gospels these past Sundays continued to unravel the beautiful teachings of Jesus on the Holy Eucharist. It is probably the most profound and the deepest that the Lord has given, and so, because they can’t handle it anymore, many left Him. Only those who have authentic and genuine faith stayed, showing the beauty and depth of their conversion, especially Peter and the Apostles.
Jesus was relentless and does not back down in any way from His beautiful and very deep teachings on the Holy Eucharist. What He said He stands behind, for example; He spoke about the condition to following Him, that is: ‘Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you’ (Jn. 6:53).
What is good about this is that Our Lord gives the disciples the freedom to accept or reject what He has taught. Similarly, we are given the choice to accept or reject His teachings; this freedom is important for us to discern entering into authentic and genuine faith. We’re not being forced or manipulated into believing. More importantly, Jesus offers Himself and invites us to believe.
In the First Reading, Joshua boldly proclaimed to the tribes of Israel, ‘As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord’ (Jos. 24: 15). In the Second Reading, St. Paul proclaims the responsibilities of married couples and exhorts us to be faithful to the vows we make, finding an analogy in the relationship of Christ and the Church. In the Gospel, Jesus asks the Twelve, and is also asking us, ‘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.’
May we realize that only Jesus has the words of eternal life. He is the best ‘option’ to choose. This is true no matter how popular that choice is and no matter if people we know are making it too.
‘As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.’ (Jos. 24: 15)