Are we saying, “Yes!” to the words of eternal life from Jesus – the Bread of Life for the world?
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 26, 2018): JOS 24:1-2,15-17,18; PS 34: 2-3,16-17,18-19,20-21; EPH 5:21-32 or 5:2,25-32; JN 6:60-69
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
This Sunday, we come to the last of the readings from St. John’s Gospel on Jesus as the Bread of Life.
It began with the stunning miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. It continued with Christ’s discourse on how He will feed the souls of those who believe and follow Him and how He will bring them to eternal life. Then Jesus insists that He means for them to eat His flesh and blood. Finally, says that He came from heaven and will return there. A number of disciples balk at Christ’s words. They think He is demanding too much of them. Consume the flesh of this preacher like bread, even the Bread of Life? Accept Him as being divine as the Father and Spirit of whom He speaks? So, many simply turn away from Jesus and drift back to their previous way of living and looking at God and the world and themselves.
“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’” (John 6:67-69). Jesus loved all who had accompanied Him. He knew that telling them that He was indeed from heaven and that they must embrace the Eucharist would be too hard for many, but it was also the truth. Our Lord wanted people to believe in Him then as He does now. We need to echo St. Peter’s faith even when it is hard. And, believing in Christ, we must follow His way. Otherwise, “to whom shall we go?”