Gospel: Jn 6:60-69
After hearing this, many of Jesus‘ followers said, ”This language is very hard! Who can accept it?”
Jesus was aware that his disciples were murmuring about this, and so he said to them, ”Does this offend you? Then how will you react when you see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, not the flesh. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. But among you there are some who do not believe.”
From the beginning, Jesus knew who would betray him. So he added, ”As I have told you, no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”
After this many disciples withdrew and no longer followed him. Jesus asked the Twelve, ”Will you also go away?” Peter answered him, ”Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We now believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
We cannot drift and just flow with the tide forever. At a certain point we need to make a stand. So in the gospel today, many of those who follow Jesus for the sake of following have finally voiced their stance, they find the teaching hard and not easy to accept. The time of indecision and hesitance is finished. They finally have to leave. It is funny that sometimes, we spent the better part of our time following something that we really could not accept in the end. We hope against all hope that our companionship will somehow miraculously last even though it is founded on our doubts and insincerity. We are not there to discover the truth but to test our strength of holding on to something that will not prosper. We waste our time.
The Twelve on the other hand choose to stay because they have something they believe to be true. They were convinced that Jesus has the words of eternal life. And so even if the teaching is hard and causes discomfort, even if life becomes a struggle because they were associated with Jesus, they will not leave Jesus and go somewhere. It is their conviction and firm belief in Jesus that will sustain them.