Reflections

Saturday of the Third Week of Easter, May 11, 2019  

Lord, To Whom Shall We Go To? 
Introduction
Once there was peace, the Church of the Risen Lord continued to grow throughout the Holy Land. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Peter continues the mission of Jesus: he speaks, he heals, he raises to life.
In the Gospel, many disciples are disappointed with Jesus. They had expected another kind of Messiah, one who led his disciples, not one who served them and would give them his flesh to eat; how could he do that anyway? Many people, including a good number of disciples, turned away from Jesus. Those who stay are perhaps not too sure what to think and do. So, Jesus confronts the apostles, “What about you?” Peter answers: “Lord, to whom shall we go to?” Yes, to whom shall we go? And that’s our theme for today.

1 Reading: ACTS 9:31-42
The Church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. She was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit she grew in numbers. As Peter was passing through every region, he went down to the holy ones living in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been confined to bed for eight years, for he was paralyzed. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.” He got up at once. And all the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated is Dorcas). She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving. Now during those days she fell sick and died, so after washing her, they laid her out in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs where all the widows came to him weeping and showing him the tunics and cloaks that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to her body and said, “Tabitha, rise up.” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. He gave her his hand and raised her up, and when he had called the holy ones and the widows, he presented her alive.
This became known all over Joppa, and many came to believe in the Lord. 

Responsorial Psalm: 116:12-13, 14-15, 16-17
R. (12) How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or: R. Alleluia.

How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD. R.

My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones. R.

O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD. R.

Alleluia John 6:63c, 68c
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. 

Gospel: John 6:60-69
Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said, “This saying 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 result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer walked with 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.” 

Commentary
Faith is the “conviction of things not seen.” These words from Hebrews 11 point to things not seen—that is, things that are not the object of direct and immediate knowledge. Faith is the only evidence of such things. Thus, Jesus is credible on the attestation of God himself.
At the end of Jesus’ Eucharistic discourse in John, some of his disciples were so nonplussed that they could not accept his word. To eat the body of Christ could only be seen as cannibalism and, therefore, beyond human acceptance. Hence, there were some among his followers who walked with him no longer. When Jesus asks the Twelve what they choose to do, they can only breathe a sigh of relief at the response of Peter: “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
We should not be surprised if at times we are troubled by doubts. We walk by faith and not by sight. Yes. Sometimes we gasp a fainting sigh yet, follow, than walk away. We continue on solely because it is Christ who gives meaning to our lives. His is a teaching that is consistent and coherent, but not always easy to accept and to obey. We stay on course because he is the way, the truth, and the life. Even in our moments of doubt, we realize that his is a message of eternal life. To walk in another direction is inconceivable. We accept the Eucharist as a mystery of faith. Based on God’s own word, we have total assurance, to pray: Lord, “I believe; help my unbelief’ (Mark 9:24). 

Blessing
We have made our choice for God when we received baptism. There, through our godparents, we opted for God. Let our life never contradict this option but strengthen it, with the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *