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Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

Reflecting on John 6: 60-69

Don’t you wonder about those disciples who “returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied” Jesus? They had heard about Jesus, had followed him even. But when he said that his Body was Real Food, and his Blood was Real Drink, that’s when they decided they were out.

They couldn’t understand it, and they certainly couldn’t believe it, so they had to leave the company of Jesus and the Twelve. I suspect that they must have been quite sad, maybe even devastated, that the man they had followed and loved had turned out to be a lunatic, just another shyster in an occupied territory where Messiahs were a dime a dozen.

I suspect they followed the rest of his life from afar. They may have heard about that business with the woman caught in adultery and nodded sadly.

Yes, that mercy is what drew us to him. And when he cured the man born blind, and then raised Lazarus from the dead, their hearts may have stirred within them. Yes! That’s the Jesus we love! That’s the Jesus for whom we were willing to give our lives!

On that terrible Friday, they may have stayed far away, thankful they got out when they could, before the Romans could connect them with Jesus. But on that glorious Easter morning, with Mary Magdalene’s shouts of “I have seen the Lord!” ringing in the air, they must have asked themselves again:

Why did we lose heart? Oh, right. It was that crazy business about him being the Bread of Life. That’s craziness, right? Right?

Wrong. In fact, it was so true that Jesus was willing to let them walk away rather than soften it.

What truths about the faith have you held close, even as others walked away?

Kathy McGovern ©2021

Ordinary Time - Cycle B

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