instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The words He has spoken to us

Yesterday's Gospel reading was John 6:60-69, which begins:
Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?"
The homilist pointed out that the reading [i.e., vv. 60-69] never specifies what Jesus says that is hard for many of His disciples to accept; you'd have to remember or look it up to know this is the tail end of the Bread of Life discourse. He, the homilist, suggested that all of Jesus' saying are hard, but that for His disciples that doesn't really matter, since we have come to believe and are convinced that Jesus is the Holy One of God.

Is Jesus' saying hard? Very well, it is hard. But to whom shall we go?

In the Gospel, the disciples who couldn't accept what Jesus said about eating His flesh and drinking His blood "returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him." They didn't say, "On a few topics he's nuts, but we'll still accompany him because he says a lot of other things we do agree with." They didn't say, "I just ignore what he says when it doesn't make any sense to me." They didn't say, "His official position on eating his flesh is not important."

I suppose you can't really say such things when your master is right there in front of you, telling you if you don't accept his hard sayings you do not have life within you.