In a society increasingly marked by secularism and threatened by atheism, we run the risk of living as if God did not exist. People are often tempted to take the place of God, to consider themselves the criterion of all things, to control them, to use everything according to their own will. It is so important to remember, however, that our life is a gift from God, and that we must depend on him, confide in him, and turn towards him always. Jews and Christians have the blessing but also the responsibility to help preserve the religious sense of the men and women of today, and that of our society, by our witness to the sanctity of God and human and life. God is holy, and the life he has given is holy and inviolable.”-- Pope Francis: Meeting with delegation of Conference of European Rabbis
Gospel Text: (JN 6:60-69)
Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said,
"This saying is hard; who can accept it?"
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, "Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe."
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father."
As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer walked with him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"
Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."
“It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.” It is so easy to lose sight of this, and so hard to accept it, as St. John relates when he states that many disciples returned to their former ways instead of continuing to follow Jesus and His path.
We can be seduced by the beauty we see, and become convinced of the importance of the life we live now. Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, succinctly concluded “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Christ teaches us that our real life, our true self, is not of this beautiful world and its wonders, but a spiritual existence that is unimaginably more wonderful than what we experience now.
If we believe that the spiritual life is infinitely more meaningful than this human experience, why then is it so difficult to detach ourselves from the human life and strive to prepare for the spiritual one to come? Why are we so many times like the disciples who returned to their former lives? Why can’t we live the simple life of love that Jesus calls us to follow?
As spiritual beings living a human experience we are also sinful people and mistake prone and distracted. That is the single reason that Jesus came into the world and why He established a Church , which administers the Sacraments to you and me. These very Sacraments are the “medicine” for the world!!!!!
Thus I think the ultimate lack of faith is in forgetting this reality, and giving up on trying to live more for the spiritual and less for the physical. With His grace all things are possible.