Acts 9: 31 – 42
John 6: 60 -69


A Challenge to our Faith

In many ways, the Eucharist and our Catholic understanding of it, is the touchstone of our Christian faith. In St John’s Gospel Jesus challenges his hearers – as we heard yesterday:

“He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.”

Then in today’s reading  – many of the followers of Jesus said:

“This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?”

And we hear  – “after this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.”

As Catholics – as Christians, we believe that Jesus comes to us in the holy Eucharist. He comes to us as matter. He who embraced matter in his human bodily presence. He doesn’t say: “This is like me . . .  or this is to commemorate me,” as Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God says in his writings, “but he says: “This is my Body given for you. This is my Blood poured out for you.” He calls us to believe his word as the very Son of God.”

In this way in every Eucharist, we share more and more deeply in the dying and rising of Jesus and we are drawn by the Holy Spirit to grow deeper and deeper into the mystery of Christ. As St Paul says: ’Christ among you – your hope of glory.”(Col. 1:28)

We find it hard to understand fully the depths of this mystery – but we too feel drawn to say with Peter: “Lord, to whom shall we go? . . . we believe and we know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Pat McIndoe CP, a Passionist at St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Boroko, Port Moresby