John 6:56-69 â€“ 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time â€“ for August 26, 2012
â€œThis teaching is difficult; who can accept it?â€ (John 6:60)
Since itâ€™s only you and me, I want to honestly reveal a few thoughts about my Christian faith.
Sometimes I think myself a:
Yes also . . . a doubter.
These insights were easily triggered after reading John 6:63-64, where Jesus supposedly announced, â€œIt is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. [Here comes the verse that makes me gulp.] But among you there are some who do not believe.â€
Soon after these verses in Johnâ€™s Gospel, many of Jesusâ€™ followers drifted away. Left. Vamoosed. However, speaking for the terrific twelve, the disciple Peter stayed, reassuring Jesus about their belief and commitment to the Nazareneâ€™s words and way.
Good for you guys! Itâ€™s swell to have buds that’ll stick with you through thick and thin, when the going gets tough, as the storm clouds gather and . . .
. . . Oops. You and I know the whole story. Twelve brief chapters later, with Jesus under the imperial thumb of Rome, boastful Peter will mumble heâ€™s never heard of Mary and Josephâ€™s first-born (John 18:25-27). For our friend Peter, the shelf life of belief had expired.
And yes, the wayward fisherman, the brother of Andrew, the Peter who becomes the â€œrockâ€ of the church, will stage a comeback.
Still, there are those passages, scattered in the Gospels like landmines, where both unnamed and famously named disciples skulk off into the night. Jesusâ€™ words were too hard. Jesusâ€™ ways of confronting powerful institutions, and challenging an individualâ€™s weaknesses, demanded more commitment than seemed humanly possible. Continue reading →