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?
UNDERSTAND | By Father Greg Friedman, OFM
Very few times in life do we get to make a definitive choice for our faith. At a celebration of Confirmation I once heard the bishop ask those being confirmed to answer a definite “Easter yes” to the renewal of their baptismal vows. The loud, rousing response shook the church and vibrated those who heard it! A definite moment of public choice.
Today, we conclude our five-week look at the sixth chapter of John, where Jesus is portrayed as the “Bread of Life.” In today’s liturgy Jesus’ followers are offered a choice to accept or reject that definition. Our first reading is also a scene of choice. Joshua gathers the tribes of Israel at the shrine of Shechem. He asks the people: Whom will they serve? Remembering all that God has done for them, the people choose to serve the Lord.
In the Gospel, Jesus confronts his disciples with a choice. Some cannot accept him as “the living bread come down from heaven.” Peter responds for the Twelve: Jesus has “the words of eternal life” for them. They have come to believe that he is “the Holy One of God.”
How about us? Can we make a public choice for Jesus as we approach to receive the Body and Blood of Christ? Our firm, faith-filled “Amen” is a response to the Lord who is present in this great sign of our salvation.
DISCUSS | By Father Dan Kroger, OFM
In the first reading (Jos 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18), Joshua gathers the leaders of the tribes of Israel. What does he say about his family?
Then Joshua asks them to make a choice about what God they will serve. What did all those people respond?
In this week’s second reading (Eph 5:21-32), Paul tells the Ephesians to be subordinate to each other. What does that mean?
He tells wives to be subject to their husbands and husbands to do what?
According to the Gospel (Jn 6:60-69), did many of Jesus’ disciples found it hard to accept his teaching that he is the bread of life?
As a result many of Jesus’ disciples returned to their former way of life. Those who stayed told Jesus that they had nowhere else to go. So who gives the gift of faith in Jesus?
This week’s second reading talks about love. Think of some tangible ways you can demonstrate your love for members of your family. It could be something as simple as a note highlighting all the things you love about that person.
The Gospel is all about making choices. Play a game of “Would you Rather?” where you have to decide between two things that you are presented with, such as would you rather spend the day out with friends or stay at home and binge watch a TV show?