Thursday, November 1, 2018
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? … Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” – John 6:60-61, 66-67
To be rejected is not a pleasant experience, at least for me, and I sense it was a rather unpleasant experience for Christ as well. A teaching that was too different from what they had previously been taught, a teaching that challenged their preconceived notions, a teaching that required too much a change in their thinking … and many of the disciples walked away.
Most people, or at least, a good share of people, are more willing to identify with Christ than changed and transformed by Christ. Christ is okay when He agrees with me, but near as okay when He disagrees with me. People want Christ to be concerned about other people’s sinfulness and not near so concerned with their own. It is human nature but the rising above this human nature is the measure of our full conversion.
But people hear what they want to hear and grow deaf when what they hear is upsetting to their status quo. But we have the courage to set aside our resistance, then the words of the Lord begin to transform us. But if we have not that courage, that staying power, if we psychologically “walk away” … then the Lord stands there rejected.
I have counseled so many times in the past, but I do so once again. The words of Christ are sometimes affirming and yet they are also sometimes confronting. A preacher worth her or his salt will experience that sensation of certain people thinking about walking away. And therein is the measure of Christian courage. And a parishioner who is never confronted by the words of Christ is far from full conversion.
So Christ asks me and asks you …”Do you as well wish to walk away?”
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz