John 6:66 “At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him”
John 6: 67 “ Then Jesus turned to the twelve and said – are you going to?”
John 6: 68 “Simon Peter replied – Master to whom shall we go?
Peter got some things wrong, but he definitely got this one right. “To whom shall we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life.”
In the light if recent events I hear sentiments from my brothers and sisters in Christ, sentiments about leaving the family – the Church. But if we leave, to whom will we go? Jesus spoke words all those years ago that scandalized the crowds, they couldn’t accept what he had to say, it was difficult, and so they left. They went back to their former ways of life. They gave up. They did not trust. And when things got tough, they deserted Him.
We must not do the same. Recent events have thrown our Church into turmoil, and many will chose to not be Faithful, many will chose to go. But where will they go and to whom? Only in the Catholic Church, the One that Jesus founded and built upon Peter, the Rock, can we find the true Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, present with Her every day in the Holy Eucharist. Will we leave Jesus, because of Judas? Jesus promised to be with us until the end of the age. We still find Him in the Catholic Church – in the Eucharist.
John 6:70 “I chose the twelve of you, and one is a devil.” Evil didn’t even escape residence within the chosen twelve.
Christ chose himself on this Earth. If it happened then, and with Him, how can we be surprised and shocked when it emerges within the ranks of the successors of those twelve. There is a lesson for us in that. After all, some of the successors of those twelve have descended from the apostle Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. Why would we expect the Church to escape the same sin and evil that befell Christ himself? There will always be sin, there will always be scandal, there will always be brokenness within the Church, because although divinely ordained, She is still made up of humanness and with that comes weakness. Peter, the rock on which the Church herself was built, denied Christ three times, and got it wrong a lot. Only one apostle was faithful to the cross with Christ, the rest fled, hid and were cowardly. Can we expect more from those successors 2000 years later? We can, and we do, but we are fooling and deceiving ourselves.
We live within a broken world, with broken people, who make up a holy, catholic, and apostolic Church; but within that brokenness and even maybe because of that brokenness emerges a glory from God that we might not ever otherwise know. Light shines the brightest in the darkest places, and just like the apostles who rose out of their brokenness, their weakness, and cowardice to spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth, we too now can rise to that challenge, and light the way for others. We can rise out of the ashes of the filth and grime of sin that befalls us all and through the grace contained in the Sacraments of Healing WE can begin to bring healing and renewal. God can take evil, sin and horrific events and bring a beauty and glory that we can’t even imagine out of it all. How else could a most gruesome and dismal death bring eternal life to all who believe and trust in the words that caused so many others to walk away all those years ago?
Out of the destructive forces of evil comes new life. Sometimes the violence found in the destruction of the old and tired, brings the opportunity and hope of something new and bright.
All the apostles died serving Christ, except of course for Judas, whose shadow still befalls and beckons some within the family of God. The good is far greater than the bad, even though at times the despair and hurt it brings can overwhelm. The apostles got with the program, they overcame and brought hope to the whole world.
We are the new apostles, the new evangelists, called to bring the same message to the world. And with that word we bring the same Christ, present physically Body, Blood Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist. “To whom would we go”. Jesus promised to be with us always, and he is. “Are you going too?” I know that I’m not. I stand with Jesus! To Him, is where I go!