When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.”
For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
This saying is hard. Who can accept it…
This brings to mind:
– Trying to do grammar school math homework with my kids
– Double session conditioning drills before high school try-outs
– Working construction
– Waiting in a Doctor’s office for test results
– Accounting and stats classes in College
This is hard!
I am currently trying to make the Spiritual Exercises and have a great Jesuit coach. In the section on the “Call of Christ Our King” there is a discussion of MAGIS. Now I am not a Jesuit, but I would define it as a call to greater service and generosity. I see this not as a search for perfectionism, nor a suggestion to become a workaholic. I note St. Ignatius’ sentence: “Mediocrity has no place in a disciple’s response.” Just going through the motions will not get it done.
Following Jesus is not easy. I continue to try to accept that I do not have control and trust in his plan. Not mine. I continue to try and savor the daily graces Jesus gives me and enjoy each day as the gift from him that it truly is.
So if we want to follow Jesus it will not always be easy. But with the goal of pursuing the “greater good” for God’s “greater glory” we can certainly get over t This is Hard! stuff.
—Bill Burke has been a member of the Midwest Jesuit advancement team for three years; he is currently
on a leave of absence.
t’s morning, Jesus. It’s morning, and here’s that light and sound all over again.
I’ve got to move fast . . . get into the bathroom, wash up, grab a bite to eat and run some more.
I just don’t feel like it, Lord. What I really want to do is get back into bed, pull up the covers, and sleep. All I seem to want today is the big sleep, and here I’ve got to run all over again.
Where am I running? You know these things I can’t understand. It’s not that I need to have you tell me.
What counts most is just that somebody knows, and it’s you. That helps a lot.
So I’ll follow along okay? But lead, Lord. Now I’ve got to run. Are you running with me, Jesus?
—Malcolm Boyd, “Are You Running With Me, Jesus?” © 1965, Holt, Rinehart & Winston Inc.