Jesus said, “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63
by whose Spirit the whole body of the
Church is governed and sanctified:
hear the prayers we offer for all your faithful
people, that in the ministry to which you have
called them each may serve you in holiness
and truth; through our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for
- 1 Kings 8:22-30, 41-43
- Psalm 84
- Ephesians 6:10-20
- John 6:56-69
- Song of Solomon 2:8-13
- Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
- James 1:17-27
- Mark 7:1-8, 14-23
A Thought to Ponder
Pentecost 13 – John 6:56-69
Simon Peter answered Jesus, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Today’s concluding section of the “bread of life” discourse from John’s Gospel is a turning point for the disciples of Jesus. Will they join the ranks of the sceptics who have dismissed Jesus and his talk of “eating his flesh” or will they commit themselves to Jesus – and the shadows of the cross that begin to fall? We can hear the pain in Jesus’ question: “Do you want to leave me, too?” Peter’s simple, plaintive answer is the confession of faith voiced by disciples of every age who have come to sense the Spirit of God acting in and re-creating their lives.
The true demands of the Gospel are hard to “endure”: the justice and reconciliation required of the faithful disciple runs counter to the conventions of society; the attitude of humble servanthood Jesus asks of us puts us at odds with the “me first/win at all costs” philosophy of our culture. But, as Peter acknowledges, the words of Jesus are the only way to transform and restore our lives and our world in the life of God.
Hopelessness can easily become a way of life; the sense that God has abandoned us or that God just doesn’t exist in our lives can cripple us emotionally and spiritually. But the faithful disciple understands the reality that God is the only constant source of anything and everything that is good.
Peter’s simple, plaintive answer is a confession of faith in the God of life and resurrection who is not present in the darkness of evil but in the light of goodness that seeks to shatter that darkness.
The faith that Christ comes to reveal is not a “warm fluffy blanket” under which we hide from whatever we find unsettling or painful nor a protective coating designed to ward off every form of sin and evil; faith is a light that illuminates our journey through life’s challenges and obstacles, a lens through which we are able to see God’s grace at work even in the most confusing and difficult times.
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