21st Week of Ordinary Time
We are nearing the end of the Bread of Life discourse in John’s Gospel. What we did NOT hear last weekend, due to the Solemnity of the Assumption, is key to understanding this weekend’s readings. Jesus tells his followers that “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” [John 6: 53] This weekend the Gospel begins with his disciples murmuring among themselves and telling him this it too hard!
Doesn’t that sound familiar? How many times do we struggle to follow Christ, to live the life He is calling us to live? Our Gospel and 1st Reading are calling us to make a choice, “Do you also want to leave?” We all have tough times that we go through. We question, doubt, sin, and sometimes turn our back on Christ. We want Christ to conform to our expectations, or we are done! It is easy to see all that is going wrong and question: “Where is God right now?” I find myself in this place when I am slacking in my prayer life and when I let everything else that is going on in my life take over. What helps me…exactly what we hear this weekend: THE EUCHARIST! When I pause, take time for the Lord, make Him a priority and receive the Eucharist, things shift within me. He knows what I need and how to help. I see the goodness of God wherever it may be in a challenging situation (and sometimes it is hard).
Our challenge this weekend is the same that the disciples faced. Will we return to our former way of life and no longer accompany Him? How do we make prayer and Mass a priority amid our busy, challenging lives? Let us hunger for the Eucharist, and let Christ fill our every need!