Unless You Eat My Body
Today’s gospel is a challenge. Notice the response of the disciples and the people after Jesus has told them that he is the living bread. They respond that “this saying is hard: who can accept it?” In fact many of his disciples were so disconcerted they left and returned to their former lives.
Jesus turns and looks directly at the Twelve and asks if they too want to leave. Peter’s response is extremely telling, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Today these words are being addressed to you and me. Imagine interviewing Jesus face-to-face in your prayer today. What would you ask him? What do you really want to know about Jesus? What spiritually do you struggle with the most? Does Jesus/God seem distant to you—does God really reside up there somewhere? Do you see God all around in the beauty of creation, in the hidden mysteries of how plant, animal, and human life occur on a day to day basis? But why don’t you sense that God dwells in your very being? Why is prayer so hard? Why is there so much evil in the world? Take time to figure out what your own pressing questions are.
Then make a conscious decision about whether you are going to leave or stay with Jesus. Remember what St. Augustine told us, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” (Confessions, I.I) Peter didn’t have all the answers but deep within him, he understood that every human being is born with an angst that only God can fill. We can try to quiet that quest with other gods but to this very day no matter which god (riches, fame, power, whatever) we choose it’s only a matter of time until we know this god isn’t God and our hearts are again restless and we start a new search for fulfillment. Which “god/God” will you turn to this day? Will you hear Jesus’ invitation to come and see?
Blessings on your Discernment