Sunday August 22

Gospel of John 6:60-69

Lord, whom shall we go to? You have the words of everlasting life.

After hearing his doctrine many of the followers of Jesus said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before?

‘It is the spirit that gives life,

the flesh has nothing to offer.

The words I have spoken to you are spirit

and they are life.

‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on, ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows them.’ After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with them.

Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’

In this Gospel I am struck by Jesus challenge to his followers. The truth of Jesus’ identity is a heart felt challenge to his followers then as it is today, yet Jesus doesn’t water down the challenge.

He teaches that faith is a gift given by God. ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows them’.

What are the gifts that I have? Where do I experience grace in my life? That is, the experience of love that inevitably overflows into loving service of others?

If I am unsure of where this grace is in my life, sometimes I can track back to it by listening for the fruits of the Spirit at work in my everyday life. Experiences of grace can be confirmed by the fruits of the Spirit such as peace, joy, patience and hope.

In our beautiful but troubled world we need to be open to receiving this grace and then relish it deeply so that others might be opened to receiving love through our witness as followers of Jesus.