Fr Billy Swan
The Gospel this weekend arrives at the climax of Jesus’s teaching on the Eucharist. It is not a happy ending for we are told that many of Jesus’ followers walked away from him because they could no longer accept what he was teaching. The reaction of Jesus was telling. Instead of pleading with the people to come back, he turned to his apostles and asked them if they were going to walk away too. Then Peter spoke and questioned himself and the others – ‘If we walk away from you then where do we go?’
Indeed, we might ask ourselves the same question. If we walk away from Christ and from the Eucharist that he clearly identifies with himself, then where do we go to? To whom do we turn? Where do we find the nourishment that we need? This Gospel is clarion call for the Eucharist to be restored at the center of every community’s life of worship and prayer. It is also a Gospel that reminds us that some of Jesus’ teachings and indeed Church teachings, are hard to accept. We might not always understand them but in the life of faith, trust always comes before understanding – trust in the word of the One who speaks that word. We believe in order to understand.