In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus giving one of the hardest teachings in the bible. He is explaining the teaching of the Eucharist, that bread and wine really are turned into his body and blood. When the disciples try to understand this with human reasoning, they fall short. They can’t understand what Jesus is telling them. And then Jesus says these important words, “Does this shock you?”
I think this is so beautiful. Whenever we are met with misunderstanding or confusion it’s typically because we have human reasoning. This can get us pretty far, but the inner truths of God cannot be fully explained by human reason alone, we have to ask for the supernatural virtue of faith.
Now faith doesn’t mean just blindly following things we cannot understand. Faith and reason are interconnected, but when we have doubts or struggles with a teaching of the church, or with the church in general, we must ask God to enlighten our intellect to be able to see that which is not obvious to the human person.
If the disciples in the Gospel had asked for this grace they would have seen with new eyes and not left Jesus and returned to their old ways. Even the apostles struggled with this, but their response was different. Even though the supernatural mysteries of God confused them, they said, “Where else would we go?”
When problems arise in the Church, when human beings seem to try to take us down, when moral teachings are difficult to live, we need to ask for faith. One of the main areas to receive this grace is through the Eucharist. This teaching that was so hard for the early disciples to believe is the very teaching that gives us the grace to believe it.
The Eucharist is the source of our faith because it is Jesus’ love active here on this earth. Next time you have a doubt or concern or problem with something in the Church, go to the Eucharist and rest in his love. It is the Eucharist that allows us to say, “Where else would we go?”
Here is one of my favorite songs, that explains how Peter denied Jesus and doubted his love. Let us all pray that when we are put to the test we are able to believe through the supernatural gift of faith.
Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.