The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Third Week of Easter
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.”
Reflection (Sem. John Paul Adia):
When life is getting more difficult, would you choose the convenient option that may separate you from God’s plan? Escaping is the easiest way to prevent difficulties. But then, the Gospel has left a question: “Do you also want to leave?”
At this point of my formation, struggles are always part of my seminary life. There are even times when I do not know how to manage all the loads and responsibilities that I have. But God never ceases to help me. Despite this thought, there are times when I will look back at my comfortable life before I entered the seminary. I have a job, earns my own salary, roam around with my friends, and most of all, I am with my family. Is it true that when we become closer to God, the more difficulties and trials are awaiting us? I am fearful. I fear to fail; I fear to lose; I fear that I am not enough, and many more fears that I encountered here in the seminary. But Jesus continuously invites me to trust – not just because He can make miracles but because He is the way.
This passage is a proof that God recognizes our freedom. Despite the fact that Jesus is with His other disciples for a long time, He allowed them to leave Him though it broke His heart. I reflected upon the times that I doubted on how can God can fix any troubles or lighten any burden. Yes, it is shocking especially when the week or even staying awake for twenty-four hours is not enough to finish everything. But my worried mind blocked my trusting heart and it happened for so many times. I fear that I cannot make it. This led me to difficulty in praying, reflecting and meditating. In short, I left God. Physically I am inside the chapel but mentally I am with my academic requirements. There were even times that I was physically present in our community activities but mentally I was with my personal loads to fulfill. I was filled with fear that led me to doubt and insecurity.
The invitation to me is to leave behind these fears and open my heart and mind to what God is saying. I need to focus my attention.
Lord, I am sorry for the times that I was not able to listen. Please lead me and bless me with the courage to resist the temptation of turning back from Your goodness because of my search for security in my vocation. Amen.