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From: John 6:60-69

The Disciples’ Reaction

[60] Many of His (Jesus’) disciples, when they heard of it, said, “This is a hard
saying; who can listen to it?” [61] But Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disci-
ples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? [62] Then what
if you were to see the Son of Man ascending where He was before? [63] It is the
Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you
are spirit and life. [64] But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus
knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that
should betray Him. [65] And He said, “This is why I told you that no one can
come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

[66] After this many of the disciples drew back and no longer went with Him.
[67] Jesus said to the Twelve, “Will you also go away?” [68] Simon Peter an-
swered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life;
[69] and we have believed, and have come to know, that You are the Holy One
of God.”


60-62. Many of His listeners find the Eucharistic mystery completely incompre-
hensible. Jesus Christ requires His disciples to accept His words because it is
He who has spoken them. That is what the supernatural act of faith involves –
that act “whereby, inspired and assisted by the grace of God, we believe that
the things which He has revealed are true; not because of the intrinsic truth of
the things, viewed by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of
God Himself who reveals them, and who can neither be deceived nor deceive”
(Vatican I, “Dei Filius”, Chapter 3).

As on other occasions, Jesus speaks about future events to help His disciples
believe: “I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place,
you may believe” (John 14:29).

63. Jesus says that we cannot accept this mystery if we think of it in too human
a way, in other words, by just seeking to indulge our senses or having too earth-
bound a view of things. Only someone who listens to His words and receives
them as God’s revelation, which is “spirit and life”, is in a position to accept

66. The promise of the Eucharist, which caused arguments (verse 52) among
Christ’s hearers at Capernaum and scandalized some of them (verse 61), led
many people to give up following Him. Jesus had outlined a wonderful and sal-
vific truth, but those disciples closed themselves to divine grace; they were not
ready to accept anything which went beyond their very limited horizons. The
mystery of the Eucharist does call for a special act of faith. St. John Chrysos-
tom therefore advised Christians: “Let us in everything believe God, and gainsay
Him in nothing, though what it said be contrary to our thoughts and senses. [...]
Let us act likewise in respect to the [Eucharistic] mysteries, not looking at the
things set before us, but keeping in mind His words. For His words cannot de-
ceive” (St. John Chrysostom, “Hom. on St. Matthew”, 82).

67-71. This passage is similar to that at Capernaum where Peter again, in the
name of the Twelve, takes the initiative in expressing his faith in Jesus as Mes-
siah (cf. Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30). Other people present may have been
unbelieving, but the Apostles are not scandalized by our Lord’s words: they say
that they have already a deep-rooted confidence in Him; they do not want to
leave Him. What St. Peter says (verse 68) is not just a statement of human soli-
darity but an expression of genuine supernatural faith — as yet imperfect — which
is the result of the influence of divine grace on his soul (cf. Matthew 16:17).

Although the Twelve stay with Him at this point, Judas will later betray the Mas-
ter. Jesus’ foreknowledge of this future infidelity throws a shadow over His joy at
the loyalty of the Twelve. We Christians should be humble enough to realize that
we are capable of betraying our Lord if we give up using the means He has left
us to cleave to Him. St. Peter’s words (verse 68) are a beautiful aspiration we
can use whenever we feel tempted.

68. Simon Peter expresses the feelings of the Apostles who, through staying
loyal to Jesus, are getting to know Him much better and becoming more close-
ly involved with Him: “Seek Jesus; endeavoring to acquire a deep personal faith
that will inform and direct your whole life. But, above all, let it be your commit-
ment and your program to love Jesus, with a sincere, authentic and personal
love. He must be your friend and your support along the path of life. He alone
has words of eternal life” (Bl. John Paul II, “Address to Students in Guadalajara”,
30 January 1979).

69. “The Holy One of God”: this is what the original text must have said, accor-
ding to most of the Greek codices and the most important early translations.
“The Holy One” is one of the expressions which designate the Messiah (cf.
Mark 1:24; Luke 1:35; 4:34; Acts 2:27; Psalm 16:10), or God Himself (cf. Isaiah
6:3; 43:15; 1 Peter 1:15; 1 John 2:20; etc.). The rendering “the Christ, the Son
of God” found in some translations, including the Vulgate, is supported by less
important Greek manuscripts, and would seem to be an explanation of the mes-
sianic significance of the original phrase.

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 04/19/2013 9:54:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

First reading Acts 9:31-42 ©
The churches throughout Judaea, Galilee and Samaria were now left in peace, building themselves up, living in the fear of the Lord, and filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit.
  Peter visited one place after another and eventually came to the saints living down in Lydda. There he found a man called Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you: get up and fold up your sleeping mat.’ Aeneas got up immediately; everybody who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they were all converted to the Lord.
  At Jaffa there was a woman disciple called Tabitha, or Dorcas in Greek, who never tired of doing good or giving in charity. But the time came when she got ill and died, and they washed her and laid her out in a room upstairs. Lydda is not far from Jaffa, so when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men with an urgent message for him, ‘Come and visit us as soon as possible.’
  Peter went back with them straightaway, and on his arrival they took him to the upstairs room, where all the widows stood round him in tears, showing him tunics and other clothes Dorcas had made when she was with them. Peter sent them all out of the room and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to the dead woman and said, ‘Tabitha, stand up.’ She opened her eyes, looked at Peter and sat up. Peter helped her to her feet, then he called in the saints and widows and showed them she was alive. The whole of Jaffa heard about it and many believed in the Lord.

Psalm Psalm 115:12-17 ©
How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?
How can I repay the Lord
  for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
  I will call on the Lord’s name.
How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
  before all his people.
O precious in the eyes of the Lord
  is the death of his faithful.
How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
  you have loosened my bonds.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;
  I will call on the Lord’s name.
How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
We know that Christ is truly risen from the dead:
have mercy on us, triumphant King.
Or cf.Jn6:63,68
Alleluia, alleluia!
Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life;
you have the message of eternal life.

Gospel John 6:60-69 ©
After hearing his doctrine many of the followers of Jesus said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before?
‘It is the spirit that gives life,
the flesh has nothing to offer.
The words I have spoken to you are spirit
and they are life.
‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on, ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him.’ After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.
  Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’

5 posted on 04/19/2013 9:58:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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