Jn 6:60-69 Turning the World Upright
Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
An atheist believes the world is what it is. A Christian, on the other hand, knows the world isn’t what it is; it’s upside down. I think this helps explain why the world finds Christ’s sayings so hard to accept. After all, when you are upside down, it’s hard to follow someone so upright!
You would think it would be easier to believe someone who loves you than someone who wants to love you. Think again. Most parents of teenagers know just how hard it is for their teens to believe them. Although teens may have a hard time listening to and obeying their parents, they don’t seem to have a hard time listening to their friends, especially their boyfriend or girlfriend. When a high school boy tells a high school girl that he loves her and wants her, she has a tendency to believe him. But when her mother tells her that this boy’s hormones are out of control and that he is a smooth talker, well, she has a tendency to dismiss her mother. You would think by now this lesson would have been learned. Think again.
You would think that if we sell diamonds for millions of dollars and cars for thousands of dollars, that no one would ever sell their body for twenty dollars or their soul for ten. Think again…
Of course the atheist is correct in saying this world “is what it is”, but it is not the same as saying it is what it was always meant to be.
Sin has turned everything, especially us, upside down. And since God is love and sin is inversely proportional to love (the more we sin, the less we love), it's no wonder we have a difficulty understanding God. It's no wonder God’s sayings seem to be difficult sayings that are hard to accept.
I find it amazing how I can believe every word someone says to me, but I cannot believe in God’s word. Or how I can repeatedly place all my trust in another human being, and repeatedly be disappointed, but I can’t seem to place my trust in God who unconditionally loves me.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands. Today’s first reading is not easy to accept. I happen to love it and for a shocking reason: it's very pro-wife! St. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, tells the community, “Brother and sisters: Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church…Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her…” (Eph 5:21-32)
This is a hard saying…what wife can accept this? Answer: Only those who have been unconditionally loved (served) by their husbands.
Men often tell me, “Father, my wife ignores me. She never does anything for me.” If that is your case, then maybe the problem is not so much with your wife as it is with you! What does it take for a wife to do whatever her husband asks her to do? St. Paul tells them: Men, if you wish to be the head of the household, then you must be the first to love; the best in loving; and the foremost teacher in love. Remember: the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church.
Why would I ever do anything for Christ? Because I know He would do anything for me. [Actually, he already did everything for me]. I would gladly be a slave for Christ because I know he would serve me before I had the slightest chance to serve Him.
Would I ever be a slave for someone? Only if I knew they loved me. Only if I knew they would die for me. Christ is the head of his bride, the Church, because He earned it. He died for her. Here lies the true inspiration for Romeo and Juliet.
The same holds true for Christ’s body and blood. Why did Simon Peter believe Christ? Because Simon Peter knew he was loved by Christ. That’s all it took.
I’m a simple fisherman, Lord. I don’t understand a thing you said today. But I do know something. I know that you love me. And if you love me, then that’s all I need to know. That’s all I need to know to believe in you.
It is Christ’s love that turns our world upright.