Many disciples abandon Jesus and He cryptically warns the Apostles of Judas’ coming betrayal. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Magnanimity so he can zealously accept and profess Christ’s real Presence in the Eucharist and by growing in the Virtue of Truth so he can heroically proclaim the truth of Christ and His Holy Catholic Church.
3rd Week of Easter – Saturday – Jn 6:60-69
Completing The Sermon of the Bread of Life, Jesus shocks the Jews by revealing He is the “Bread of Life” and men must “gnaw” on His Body and drink His Blood to be granted eternal life by Him. With the literal meaning of the Torah their only reference, the Jews move from murmuring to outright violent arguing, concluding that Jesus is speaking of cannibalism and the drinking of prohibited blood; even His own disciples murmur in disbelief among themselves.
Rather than explain that the Eucharist is His glorified Body and Blood which will be given after His Resurrection, Jesus rebukes them for being offended, and for their lack of ability to grasp the truth about the perishable body, and the eternal “spirit and life.” Knowing “from the first” which disciples would refuse to believe, and even those who would betray Him, Jesus reveals that God the Father has rejected all those who refuse to believe.
Undeterred by the loss of many of His disciples, Jesus confronts His core men, the 12 Apostles, asking if they too will abandon Him. Confirming Jesus’ perfect wisdom in selecting Simon Peter to be the first leader of the Catholic Church, Peter demonstrates his magnanimity (greatness of soul) by speaking for the 12 and professing that Jesus is, the “Holy One of God.” Jesus’ response (v 70-71 are omitted from the Liturgy) to Peter is a chilling revelation of the influence of Satan on men: with Divine Knowledge, Jesus warns Peter that one of the 12 Apostles (Judas) does not believe, is a devil, and will betray Him.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by how the Son of God, who does not need the Theological Virtues of Faith and Hope because He has actually seen God the Father, used a highly provocative description of the Eucharist (gnawing on flesh, drinking blood) to teach the Apostles, despite reasonable questions, the need for absolute Faith and Hope in Him and how God the Father is the source of such astounding Faith and Hope.
Zealously accept and profess the Real Presence
Believe: Just as many rejected Jesus’ first revelation of the shocking truth of His Real Presence in the Eucharist, today, many poorly formed Catholics dangerously reject the reality that Jesus’ actual Body and Blood is present in the Eucharist.
Believe: Refresh your understanding of the dogma (a belief that must be held by Catholics to remain in Communion with the Church; CCC 88-90) of the Real Presence in the Eucharist (CCC 1373-1381).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Magnanimity (a part of Fortitude) so I can take on the great and noble work of proclaiming the reality of Christ’s life-saving gift of His Real Presence in the Eucharist.
Heroically proclaim the Truth of Christ and His Church
Realize: St. Paul prophetically (Rom 1:18-32) described the three-step descent of the modern culture into evil: 1) the truth of God is rejected and men accept lies, 2) men fall into depravity, and, 3) men commit every sort of evil sin. The sanctification of the culture can only happen through the proclamation of the Truth of Christ and His Holy Catholic Church; the heroic Catholic men who take up this work will be hated, censored, persecuted, imprisoned and murdered (Mt 24:9).
Believe: Renew your commitment to Defend the Faith (CCC 1285, 1303).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Truth, give me the Virtue of Truth (a part of Justice) so I am prepared to heroically proclaim and defend the Truth of Your Gospel and Holy Catholic Church to the world and to withstand persecution.