24th April 2021
ARE YOU STILL FOLLOWING JESUS?
John 6:60-69 When Jesus was here on earth going about his ministry, many were attracted to him because he offered them something irresistible: the deaf heard, the dumb spoke, the lepers were cleansed, the dead were raised, and the hungry were fed, among many signs and wonders.
In spite of these signs and wonders that his followers witnessed, many stumbled and left him when he taught about the Eucharist: “Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day’.” John 6:53-54.
This teaching was impossible for many of his followers to tolerate, and so many left him: “Many of his followers heard this and said, ‘this teaching is too hard. Who can listen to it?.’… because of this, many of Jesus’ followers turned back and would not go with him anymore” John 6:60,66. The group of the followers of Jesus narrowed to the twelve apostles. His teachings became the measure of his followers’ discipleship.
Even if the teachings of Jesus are “spirit and life,” they are not easy to believe or simple to follow. How can we eat his flesh and drink his blood, how can we forgive 70 X 77, How can we be happy when we mourn (Mathew 5:4), or be happy when people insult and persecute us and tell all kinds of evil against us because we are followers of Christ? (Mathew 5:11).
The teachings of Jesus are beyond human logic and hard to comprehend. Even his disciples find it difficult to accept. But Jesus does not mince words. The choice is given; to accept him or leave him: “And you-would you also like to leave?” Simon Peter is decisive, “Lord to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life”
The words of Jesus are eternal and transcend time and place. It cannot be diluted to make it acceptable by the modern man. While the modern man wants to hear OPEN MARRIAGE, Jesus teaches EXCLUSIVEBOND OF MARRIAGE between man and woman. While the modern man wants to hear PRO-CHOICE, Jesus teaches faithfulness to the ORIGINAL PLAN OF GOD for man and woman.
To follow Jesus, we must overcome the temptation to think ‘according to the flesh.’ We are not to look for purely natural evidence, but to choose the supernatural light of the spirit.
Are you still following Jesus? This question should take us back to the day of our baptism and remember the first ‘YES’ we said to God and the forever ‘NO’ we said to Satan. We renounced the evil one and we said yes to faith in God, and from that point forward we became his followers. Are we still adhering to the promise or we have ‘LEFT’ the fold of the ‘followers’?
May our following of Jesus become visible in our day to day life through:
- going for mass - going for confession - active participation in church, jumuiya, and church groups
- adherence to the teachings of our church
- our way of life, words, and deeds
- charity to the needy
May our trust in Jesus make us remain his faithful followers. Those followers who fell away only did so because they did not trust Jesus. Our hearts desires can only be fully fulfilled in Jesus; “Lord to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life”