Today’s Gospel: JN 6:60-69 – 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Many of Jesus’ disciples found His sayings difficult to accept; nothing has changed. How many of your friends or family members have left the Catholic faith because of its faithfulness to Christ’s teachings?
Think of the Eucharist and the other sacraments. The world does not accept any of them, for its inhabitants still find His teachings too difficult.
Baptism, Confession, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick are the seven spirit and life-giving sacraments Jesus established. Not only does our society not believe in them, it even ridicules them as superstitious practices.
Many of our separated sisters in Christ say, “Baptism doesn’t do anything spiritually, it’s just a tradition.” How many times have you heard friends say, “Why confess to a priest, I go straight to Jesus?” Only the Catholic and Orthodox faiths believe Communion is what Jesus taught – truly His body and blood. Marriage is no longer honored and has become a laughing stock in today’s culture. The Catholic priesthood and its practice of celibacy are scoffed at and derided.
When Jesus initiated a sacrament, He used words of spirit and life. Our “fleshly” world cannot comprehend His words since it’s closed its mind to the spiritual. The Sacrament of the Eucharist, like the other sacraments, is of Spirit and Life, and it gives us eternal life.
The Spirit is alive in the sacraments. Let us pray that we remain like the disciples who accepted Christ’s teachings in Capernaum nearly two thousand years ago.
Thankfully, the Catholic Church continues to respond as its first pope did when he said: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Jesus, Your teachings are difficult. Please give me the strength to follow you against the tide of my culture and my friends who don’t understand the Church’s imitation of Christ.
The world rejected Jesus; it continues to reject the Church. Am I willing to follow Jesus in His Church?
Copyright 2018 Cynthia Brewer
Cynthia Brewer and her husband, Greg, have one child in heaven, following a miscarriage. They are members of St. Mary’s Parish in Victoria, Texas. After 13 years as editor of The Catholic Lighthouse newspaper, Cynthia is currently working to publish two religious books. This past spring, she received a Church History Graduate Certificate from Catholic Distance University.
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