Saturday, August 22, 2015

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time: People Walk Away from Jesus

“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

It's just a fact that people walk away for Jesus all the time and for many reasons and, sometimes, for the right reason: because they have heard and understood the truth.

"As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer accompanied him."

Walking away from He Who is Truth where He is infallibly found in His Church is certainly not something of which we can approve, but the reason why it happens can be a sign for hope.

The Gospel makes clear for us today that this has been true from the very beginning: His teaching causes discomfort, disappointment, upends expectations, breaks stereotypes, does not respect our prejudices.

God does not obey our expectations.

When we see people walk away from Jesus in Catholic parishes we sometimes become discouraged, but this is because we have given in to temptation to be worldly.

Other people can never teach us what God is like: we must constantly fight the temptation to think that God’s goodness comes to us only through other people and their actions.

The truth Jesus teaches about the Eucharist in the Gospel tells us this is not so: the goodness of God comes here and now through Jesus present in the Eucharist.

We share in His goodness by being with Him in adoration and He is in us when we receive Him in this Gift in a state of grace.

For those of faith with Peter that Jesus' words are true and trustworthy there is this beautiful credo:

“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."

Jesus is really and truly present in the Eucharist at every parish, in the holy Mass and also in the tabernacle, the first and best reason to be there and to come together there with others: "Come, let us adore Him!" 

Hope says: the steps people take when they walk away from Jesus because they hear the truth His Church teaches are taken with potential for salvation.