Jesus’ Words

August 22nd, 2015 Posted in writing

At the end of chapter six of the Gospel according to John, Jesus asks his apostles if they would stay with him or walk away as some people had when he’d said things they didn’t understand or couldn’t accept. Peter’s answer was unambiguous. He said, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of life.”

The disciples had lived with Jesus, heard him challenge the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and other religious leaders, seen him perform miracles and listened to him talk about his Father. They had learned to trust Jesus because his words had filled them with life, hope and courage. No wonder Peter said, “Lord, to whom else can we go?”

Today many voices tell us to seek wealth above all, turn to violence to solve our problems, ignore caring for the earth, be concerned only about ourselves and forget about the poor. Some of us may be tempted to listen to these words, but they do not bring life or peace; Jesus’ words do.

Admittedly, we may not always understand his words. They may appear mysterious or seem impossible to accept. The apostles had the same problem, for Mark’s gospel says that Jesus was sometimes exasperated by their inability to grasp what he was telling them. Nevertheless, they remained with him, listening to his words and understanding them as best they could. We’d do well to ask God for the same grace.

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