“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

From today’s Mass Reading:

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.”

I’ve written about this passage before. The disciples and Jews could not accept the teaching that Jesus was putting forth. He was speaking literally, and not figuratively, and they understood that or else He would have corrected their misunderstanding that had caused them to return to their former way of life. He was telling them that they had to literally eat of His Flesh and drink of His Blood in order to have eternal life, even though He was referring to His Body and Blood in the form of Bread and Wine. This was all too confusing, or disgusting, and so they left Him. And He allowed them to go.

When you are confronted with Scriptural or Catechetical truths that are too hard to understand, what do you do? Do you work to understand them, knowing that aince these are Divine Mysteries it will never be possible to fully comprehend them? But you accept them anyway in all humility like Peter? Or do you respond like Jesus’ disciples and the Jews in the passage above and turn away and leave? Perhaps refashion the teachings in such a way that are more acceptable to human understanding, despite their contradicting the Divine truth?

Humility is understanding your relationship to reality, adjusting your perspective to fit that reality, and being content with the results. Reality is that Jesus is God, not you, and that the only way to eternal life is through Jesus, (This does not mean that non-Christians do not attain eternal life, just that Jesus, the Just Judge, determines your admittance to Heaven based on the choices you’ve made in life. To continue on this track, then why be Christian? Because Christianity is the sole guaranteed roadmap to achieving salvation. Guaranteed by God.)

Now, many Catholics in AA and other Twelve Step Movements end up leaving the Church or accepting an illegitimate diluted Catholicism because the recovery movements offer an easier and softer way. Easier concepts to accept. Do not sellout or take the easier path. The richness of the Catholic Faith and Her spirituality offer far greater rewards than merely “staying sober”. Consider the teachings of Jesus and His Church to be a mountain that you have to ascend. The higher you climb (the tougher the Divine Mysteries you’re trying to grasp or the tougher the teachings you’re trying to live by) the more character defects you need to shed are cast off. Catholicism liberates you from the restraints of being merely human.

Go mountain climbing.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"