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Sunday, August 26, 2018 Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 6:60-69

Many of Jesus' disciples who were listening said, " This 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 results 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."

The Gospel of the Lords Praise be to You Lord Jesus Christ.

REFLECTION: The gospel begins after Jesus’ discourse on the Eucharist being the true flesh and true blood of the Son of Man .

We begin our day in the midst of the “murmuring" of the disciples and his followers . They have been following Jesus because of his many miracles, his stories, his teachings and his charisma. But most of all he offered them something irresistible –a taste and a visible sign of the Mercy of God. “ See how he heals, see how much he loves us, let us follow him, “ you can imagine them saying.

They could not keep away from Him because they saw something in him. But now the Eucharistic discourse…The murmuring, “What did he just say about eating his flesh and drinking his blood? How foolish were we to follow him, he must be a charlatan, a hoax, an impostor or worse demented. Who can accept what he is saying?”, some might have said.

Many people were following Jesus purely for the entertainment factor and failed to see him for whom he was—“The Son of God, made Man”. Jesus is preparing us for the Last Supper and made claims that made people stop in their tracts. No more wasting their time with Jesus and so they left. Some stayed, but they stewed, they contorted their faces in the eastern sun and they were filled with envy, anger, disappointment, fear, pride , ignorance and even the desire to turn against him. Were they really indignant that Jesus seemed to derail their dreams about him or were they evil filled?

Jesus was claiming to be the very life of God. And he was offering full union with God on our journey to eternal life in heaven. “ NO ONE CAN COME TO ME UNLESS IT IS GRANTED HIM BY THE FATHER”. God, our Father, gave this gift of faith freely to those who listened to his word and put their trust in Him. He gave faith to all but not all accepted it. But Peter accepted his faith gift and told Jesus when asked if he too was to leave, “ Master, to whom shall we go?” You have everything I need-- I can almost hear Peter say that.

PRAYER: We thank you, dearest Lord, for all gifts given us. Please, keep your priests close to you less the enemy prevails against them. Let our prayers cover their needs at times of weakness and temptations. For this we pray in the Holy Name of Jesus. Amen.

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