Today is the last of the five Sundays when our Gospels are from John and are about the Bread of Life. But the bread is not really in this reading from the end of John, chapter 6. Instead, today’s reading describes the reaction of the disciples to hearing about Jesus being the bread of life and giving his flesh and blood to us. This saying is hard; who can accept it? say the disciples. And John comments that Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe… Faith is a gift, but it also is a choice, and it is a choice that is not easy. It is a choice to live for the spirit that gives life rather than for the flesh [that] is of no avail. We all want to join the disciples in saying, This is a hard saying! You’re asking me to believe in God when so many in our culture don’t? To live for others first when lots of other people live “me first” lives? To live a truthful and principled life in a world that says truth is relative? To live with restraint in our culture of gratification and addiction? This is a hard saying, Lord. Jesus replies, For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by my Father. It is that other “Father” power that makes it possible for us to hold on to belief. But it’s still OK to complain that this is a hard saying, Lord. Lamenting is one of the forms of prayer in Scripture, after all, so lament this week!
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia