Sunday, August 23, 2009

“This Saying Is Hard”

On Saturday afternoon, along with other young adults from the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, I volunteered at a "Scoop and Serve" ice cream party for children who take part in activities at Abraham House on Willis Avenue in the Bronx.

We had a good time -- both playing games with the kids and learning about this location that serves former jail inmates and their families. (One young man named Leonardo bested three of us from St. Paul's in a highly competitive round of the board game "Sorry.")

We also went to Abraham House's 4 p.m. vigil Mass. Celebrated in Spanish and English, the Mass was very well attended by men, women and children. The Gospel at Mass was a continuation of the same section of the Gospel of John proclaimed last Sunday on the "bread of life" theme.

In my post last week, I stated that the terminology and message of Christ in the passage could be troubling to some people. In today's Gospel, we hear the disciples themselves murmur about the teaching's difficulty.

From John Chapter 6:

Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.”

Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.

And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

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

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.”

Deacon Greg has posted his homily on this Gospel.

1 comment:

St Edwards Blog said...

This saying IS hard, who can accept it? Talk is cheap, living it is hard, isn't it?

Oh what a thought provoking post this is indeed.

And Abraham House, I am astounded. What an amazing place. Thanks for sharing that link.