• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

Thursday, 19 August 2021 19:02

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B - 2021

Written by Fr Bill Burt SVD

 

INTOLERABLE LANGUAGE

Gospel of John, 6:60-69 Sunday, 22nd August, 2021

Bill Burt 150“After hearing Jesus (as he taught in the synagogue at Capernaum), many of his followers said, ‘This is intolerable language! How could anyone accept it?”. (John 6:60)

Many years ago, there was a popular comedy show on our television screens called, “Mind Your Language.” It was set in a school where students from various ethnic backgrounds learnt English. It gently made fun of the relationship between people struggling with the foibles of the English language, and their teachers who were also struggling with their task. Anyone who has tried to learn or teach another language could relate to it.

The study of language is a fascinating subject, as is the way it is used and the incredible power it has. The demagogues of history are witness to this. Good and bad people alike know how to use words, as do those involved in the advertising and media worlds.

Jesus was a linguistic master, and yes, at times He did not “mind His language”! He understood the power of the word. His sermons and parables touched the hearts of His followers at the time He spoke them, and since then they have been translated into countless languages and continue to impact the lives of those who hear and read them.

So much of what He said was uplifting, inspiring, heartening and encouraging. Yet, at the same time, He could be very challenging, saying things that caused His listeners to say, “This is intolerable language! How could anyone accept it?”

Each time we read or listen to a Gospel we are invited to question what Jesus says to us. The words of the Sermon on the Mount, in particular, which are “feel good” to many, can also be intolerable language if we really think about them and allow ourselves to be challenged by them.

For short periods of time, Jesus was incredibly popular. The Scriptures mention thousands of people flocking to hear Him. Yet Jesus’ language which initially dazzled the crowds didn’t take root in the hearts of many. What happened on Good Friday showed this.

Today’s Gospel text invites us to consider where we stand in relation to what Jesus said, and says to us. Surely there is nothing wrong with choosing passages of Scripture that touch our hearts and refresh, comfort and restore us, but let’s allow ourselves to be challenged as well. Feeling comfortable is beautiful, but feeling uncomfortable at times can trigger action that is needed if Jesus’ plan for humanity is to be realized.

Divine WORD Missionaries always have before them the words of John, “The Word became flesh, He lived among us, and we saw His glory.” (John 1:14) The glory of God is reflected in the spoken words of Jesus, both the gentle and the harsh, the comfortable and uncomfortable. Jesus’ disciples are called to embrace them all, and to encourage others to do the same. Did Jesus use intolerable language? Yes, He did! Our challenge is to ponder it, and take all of what He said to heart.

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