Hard Sayings!

John 6:60

Many of His disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?"

The Eucharist is one of the greatest offences to the world.  When Jesus told His hearers that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, the response was immediate: they left.  Jesus was left with a small group of dazed followers who couldn't imagine what He was talking about.  It's often the same today.  The Gospel proposes all sorts of hard sayings to us and then says, as Jesus did, "Are you going to leave Me too?"  It really does ask us to render a judgment, to make a choice.  The Gospel does this, not to push our buttons or play with our heads, but because the Gospel really does claim to be a statement about the nature of reality — about what is, not what we would necessarily like.  Jesus taught that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood, not because He knew that would really irk people and He enjoyed that, but because we do in fact need the remedy of the Eucharist and we do in fact have to share in Christ's Risen Life if we are to have life in us.  Today, thank Jesus for speaking the hard truth even when it cost Him friends.  Because of His courage, we have life!

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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