By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
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." (Jn 6:66-69)
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?” (Jn 6:60) This complaint from the unbelieving disciples echoes through time and we hear it again today. We not only hear it from others, but we hear it in our hearts too. Every encounter with Jesus should challenge us and invite us to be transformed. How do we choose to respond?
The “idea” of being challenged and transformed sounds nice in theory, but the experience of it is not very pleasant. We are creatures of habit and we like to remain within our “comfort zones”. We like things the way we have always done them, and that seems like a good enough reason to continue doing them that way. We might try something new, but, when we feel threatened by the challenge to die to our ways and our will, many times we choose to return to our former way of life, just like the unbelieving disciples did.
But our story does not end there. We have a God who loves us and will not give up on us. “This is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day.” (Jn 6:39) He will continue to invite us and to challenge us, but He does this through relationship. As we grow closer to Him, spending time in prayer and receiving Him in the Eucharist, we learn to trust in Him and can then respond like Peter, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”