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. Eldrick Pena)
“Do you also want to leave?” this was Jesus’ question to the 12 disciples after several of the disciples left because “they did not believe” Him.
The conditions set forth in following Christ are not easy. It would entail a lot of sacrifices and does not guarantee living a worry free life. In most cases, you will be tested much the moment you so decide to commit yourself in the service of the Lord and His kingdom.
In my case as a priest in process, the journey was not that easy as well. After I left my family to pursue a vocation to the priesthood, trials and difficulties did not separate from my family, they even intensified! This I bore, on top of the rigorous and sometimes very difficult demands of formation and of confronting my personal issues and insecurities. And in these times, Jesus could be asking me “Do you also want to leave?”
But thanks to the grace of God, I was able to respond “No, Lord, I will remain with You. Being with You is enough and I know, you will not leave me in these worst of times, I have to keep still and believe that You are my Master, and will be with me through all these.” I always pray that the Master will grant me the grace of perseverance and faithfulness in the face of trials and problems so I could remain with Him even if the going gets tough.
In our life, there are many instances that we feel that Jesus has abandoned and left us. But come to think of it, He never does that, it is us who run away from Him.
What are those instances that you feel very far or distant from Jesus? How did you once again find your way to Him?