In today’s Gospel we see the culmination, and the aftermath, of Jesus’ Bread of Life discourse. Jesus has presented his teaching on the Eucharist, and the disciples are struggling with believing in it because they don’t understand it. As a result, many cease to be disciples of Jesus and return to their former way of life. Our Lord even poses the question to the Twelve, and Peter’s response holds a lesson we should all consider in our own life of faith: belief is supported by grace, and it is through belief that we understand some of the deepest mysteries of God. If we try to start with reasons, as we’ve seen over the last few Sundays, some truths of God will remain out of reach for us and we’ll fall back on the certainties we know, as many of the disciples did in today’s Gospel.
We shouldn’t be shy about asking Our Lord to help us in our unbelief. As Peter describes it in his response to Our Lord, believing leads to conviction. We can live a life of faith without understanding it completely and, somehow, it all fits together. The Twelve, with the exception of Judas in this moment, are building on an experience of God and his mystery that they’ve had ever since they started following Jesus, which, in turn, was built on their understanding of God before Jesus’ coming that had been passed down throughout salvation history.
Let’s ask Our Lord today to help us in whatever we’re having hard time believing.
Readings: Joshua 24:1–2a, 15–17, 18b; Psalm 34:2–3, 16–21; Ephesians 5:21–32; John 6:60–69.