The Gospel According to John – 2018.08.26
Faith and The Way
The Gospel reading for today gives us an example of just where the early church went astray, beginning to deviate from the teaching of Jesus, and the lived experience of the way he taught.
In the final paragraph we are given the thoughts of saint Peter, who would have us believe that he follows Jesus because Jesus has the secret message of eternal life, as if this were the purpose of the gospel as if believing that Jesus is the “Holy One of God” is the key to receiving the gift of eternal life.
In the fourth paragraph we are asked to believe that God, the Father parcels out access to Jesus, to the truth, to the reality of life everlasting, allowing some to come to it while refusing others.
None of this scheme is true.
The gospel is this; God loves you, and you are saved. You are not saved for anything that you have done, you did not earn it, you are saved because God loves you/
The promise of salvation is not that you will be spared from suffering and torment in hell, or that when you are judged God will forgive you.
God has already forgiven you. You are already saved.
God has prepared you, and everyone for eternal life. Believe it! Let the goodness of the promise flow through you now, and start living this life as if it were true.
We are not called to believe in the idea that Jesus is this or that, the Holy One of God, we are called to act on the principles of his faith, to live lives of charity and service to each other.
Who shall we go to?
You are the Holy One of God
After hearing his doctrine many of the followers of Jesus said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’
Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before?
‘It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on, ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him.’ After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.
Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time