After Jesus gave his “Bread of Life” discourse, many of the disciples were taken aback when he told them they would eat His flesh and drink His blood. In today’s Gospel we see that many rejected Christ and said This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it? There are hard teachings in the Gospels sometimes and we all can have trouble accepting certain things. If the teachings were not hard we would not need hundreds of years of commentary and interpretation to help guide us. As human beings, we all have doubts and sometimes have trouble accepting.
However, those who left Jesus at this point in time were those who were not humble. They were the ones who did not have an open heart and therefore lacked faith. God does know the condition of our hearts and we experience things through Him that can reveal our hearts to us. Even when the disciples who rejected Jesus left Him, he still issued a challenge by asking those who remained if they also wanted to leave. They were given an opportunity to reaffirm their faith in Him and did. We are all capable of seeing God and rejecting Him. Judas even rejected Christ by betraying Him. Faith can often be a struggle, but we have to remember that Christ has already chosen us, all we have to do is accept him.
Over the course of the summer, many of us have had some down time. There may have been vacations, family parties, children’s sports, back yard barbeques, etc. As the summer ends, the children and teachers will be returning to school, our dedicated catechists will begin their ministry again, children in Religious Education will be back in class, and we will also be welcoming and guiding new Catholics to the Sacraments through our RCIA process. All of our ministries from music to outreach to youth will be striving to invigorate our community of faith. Things are about to get very busy around here.
For those of us in our community that may feel challenged at times when the summer is over and things get a bit more hectic, we can remember to keep a humble heart and open ourselves to Christ. We do not have to grow in faith alone. We can help each other, and all of those in our faith community to find that acceptance.