21ST SUNDAY ORDINARY TIME – B
After four Sundays, we have now come to the conclusion of chapter 6 in John’s Gospel which is a theological reflection on Jesus as the Bread of Life. It started with a miracle that was witnessed by five thousand people, who after eating their fill, wanted to make Jesus their king. Jesus offered them something greater than their earthly desires but all they wanted was to satisfy their physical hunger.
The word crisis comes from the Greek word krisis which means judgment. After hearing the very long eucharistic and theological explanations of Jesus, his disciples were in crisis. They had to judge and make a decision either to accept or reject Jesus as the Bread of Life. Because Jesus’ teaching was too much for their hearing, they were scandalised and disappointed. They rejected Jesus and stopped following him.
What the Jews wanted was a political and economic messiah who would give them liberation from the Romans and food on their tables. Jesus far from being a political and economic messiah instead offered them salvation and heavenly food. But they rejected the gift and turned away from Jesus. This is called the Galilean crisis.
Two thousand years after, Christ is still on trial in the courts of disbelief like atheism, agnosticism and materialism. People are still looking for a messiah who can satisfy the different forms of human hunger. Other religions offer alternative ways of meeting the contemporary needs of humanity. But a follower of Christ is confronted with the definitive call to take a stand whether to embrace his offer or to stop following him just like the many Jews in the gospel this Sunday.
At the present time, some people leave the faith because they find it hard to follow the precepts of the Church. Sometimes they leave because the Church does not support or confirm their personal conviction and lifestyles which are against the Christian belief. The Galilean crisis still continues even today. Mostly, people will embrace a religion of convenience.
Where do we go from here? As disciples of Christ, we take Peter’s words as our own.“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life and we believe; we have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” But we have to remember that we are not following a political messiah who will give in to our wants and caprices. Christ is our personal saviour who continues to feed us with his Body and Blood in our life’s journey. We believe that he and no one else in the world can save us; not Buddha, Confucius, Mohammad or anyone else! Jesus Christ is the only Saviour!
If we follow him, he will make sure that he will lead us to eternal life!
In your following Jesus, are you willing to pay the price?