We like to pick and choose from the teachings of Jesus what suits our temperaments and purposes. We often approach the Gospels for comfort and avoid them for their challenges. The first disciples of Jesus were no different. Jesus had to show his disciples that their ideas and expectations were nothing more than an attempt to make him and his messages over into their own way of thinking.
We also have to realize that many of our beliefs and ideas about Jesus and his message may be our way rather than Jesus’ way, that we are not following Jesus but rather accommodating him to our life-style. This accommodation may come very naturally to us as human beings, but it also leads to confusion and disappointment in our spiritual life. There are times when we feel that our Christian beliefs and ideals have failed us or that our faith did not deliver on its promises. We fail to note, however, that what usually lets us down is our particular way of believing.
The challenge of today’s Gospel is to humbly search out Jesus to discover his real meaning and the real meaning of his message. Let us pray to the Lord that our minds be always open to his truth, as he presented it, not as we would like to hear it. Let us hear the Gospels on their own terms, without being selective and injecting personal prejudices. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He promises that his way brings joy and fulfillment, but only if we make his way our own way.