Reading the gospel is not an exercise that always provides… comfort.
It certainly does at times, but at other times it can be rather upsetting.
It happens that Jesus questions us, and even confronts us, in a way that can be disturbing.
This is what we see in today’s gospel text (Jn.6:60-69).
Jesus has been speaking of giving people his body as food.
People grumble about this and they say:
“This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
To this, Jesus replies:
“Does this offend you?”
Another translation uses a stronger expression saying:
“Does this scandalize you?”
Does it happen that God’s words offend us?
Does it happen that God’s ways, scandalize us?
Perhaps this means that… God is God and that…
we need to recognize him as such.
Long ago, he told us through his prophet Isaiah (Is.55:8):
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
Something we are in constant need to remember and…
something we need to adjust ourselves to… from day to day.
But through the words of another of his messengers, Jeremiah, (Jer.29:11)
God assures us:
“I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
A hopeful future, this is what is offered to us!
And this plan gives a new perspective to God’s ways which may… offend us!
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/21e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/