Tuesday 21 July 2015

21st Sunday of Ordinary Time, year ’B’ 21 e dimanche du temps Ordinaire, année ’B’

“We believe, we have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Jo 24,1..18 Ps.33 Ep. 5,21-32 Jn. 6,60-69

21st Sunday of Ordinary Time, year ’B’

“After hearing it, many of his followers said, ’This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?” Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ’Does this disturb 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 who did not believe and who was to betray him.”

It is painful to become aware of this but it couldn’t be eluded. In our Christian life, Jesus doesn’t seek to keep hold of anybody, he doesn’t force anyone’s freedom.On the contrary, as far as his closest disciples are concerned, Jesus un bonds them of everything which unknowingly to them rivet them to his person. Faced with this absurdity of his flesh given to eat, that is ,absurdity from a human point of view, of a love that calls us to give ourselves entirely, Jesus asks the question of fidelity so that the disciples commit themselves quite freely on this path of the gift of self : ’Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of Eternal Life.’ In order to enter into, and to last on this path of love that is offered and received, we ought to discover that this path is for us the true path of fullness of life. So that when all is said and done, what seems difficult for us is a way to learn how to truly love. True love is given in littleness and in great poverty. The challenge for our life is to dwell in this love that is regenerated all the time. Already the Book of Joshua prepared us for this choice : ’Myself and those who belong to me wish to serve the Lord’. And again : ’it is better to die than to abandon the Lord to follow other gods.’

“He went on, ’This is why I told you that no one could come to me except by the gift of the Father.’ After this, many of his disciples went away and accompanied him no more.”

In the Gospel Jesus tells us : It is I who have chosen you and established you in this love of God.’ It is not us therefore ourselves who have chosen to participate in God’s love, but we discover this present from God within us, that is, this capacity to move and to be loved.When we put love into place it is something that makes us happy. And this is why Love can be a commandment, for Christ asks us to put into place what he has already given us to be able to do and this leads to our happiness. But because I have the capacity, and even though it may be difficult for me, and also because it is good for me, the Lord gives us the commandment of love which is the way to succeed on a human level. We love, and it works for us, we are happier when we love, we bear fruit and fruit that dwells. To believe that God is at the origin of our life: that He is the One who draws us all the time into his Love; It’s not always easy for us to be happy with this love. By my attitude of respect and love, of benevolence for others, my brothers in humanity, I can have a link that creates life. This will depend upon my attitude towards God.

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

Crises put the spotlight, not on the impossibility of love, but on the divine origin of love. When it becomes difficult to love, we need to turn towards Jesus: ’To whom shall we go, Lord? You have the words of Eternal Life!“But to enter into love, following Jesus, we need to rid ourselves completely of any false images of God that we may have, and of any false images of oneself and of other people we may have. Peter’s sword is his violence and it is is also an idol. In Jesus’ loving gaze, after his denial, Peter understands how the Love of Jesus is something completely different. Jesus had said when taking the bread : ’This is my Body given up for you’, and when taking the cup of wine: ’This is my Blood, the blood of the New Covenant, that will be poured out for you and the multitude in remission of sins.” With this, Jesus gives us a new life. Little by little Peter comes to the understanding that true love is given by being very little and having a great poverty. The gift of Jesus’ flesh and blood responds to the love of Mary that he

received, she who had given him her body as a shelter and who had given him her blood to feed on. It is by believing in God’s Infinite Love for her, listening to his Word, abandoning herself to his loving Will for her that she had been able to accomplish this gift of herself. Thus each one of us is called to recognize deep down within himself what he has received from God, or what he doesn’t want to receive.

Today Jesus tells us again, ’Do you too wish to leave?’ we reply again, ’Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the Words of Eternal Life.’