Following Jesus is Hard

– Saturday 4th Week of Easter –

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” [John 6:68]

I was recently watching an episode of ‘The Chosen’ that was about this very gospel passage. The way the actor, who portrays Peter, spoke these words prompted something of a revelation for me. Rather than being the bold proclamation I had always imagined this moment to be, the words were spoken more out of a sense of submission, of surrender. Peter simply cannot ‘unsee’ or ‘unbelieve’ what he knows to be true.

In my own journey I know this to be true. I have been asked ‘why do you believe this stuff?’  My answer is simple, I cannot unbelieve what I know to be true. Sure, I can point to life experiences, moments of divine consolation, but in the end, sometimes I feel more like Peter in the TV show. Where else can I go? What else would I even consider believing in when I have found the truth.

Like Peter I can, and do, get weary of the journey. I may not be able to unbelieve but, like many of Jesus’ followers, there are times I decide that it is too hard. Following Jesus is hard. Forgiving is hard, giving is hard, surrender is hard, being sick is hard, watching a loved one declining is hard, grieving is hard, seeing people’s cruelty to each other is hard, family estrangement is hard, obedience is hard.

And yet in the struggle there is always Light and it shines through in so many ways – in prayer, in a grandchild’s smile, in the hug of a friend, in the Eucharist, the tenderness of a spouse, a sunrise, a sunset, a walk around the neighborhood, but ultimately all comes through Him who is the Light of the World, Jesus.

Thank you Lord so much for finding us, for leading us, for being patient when we wander, for guiding our way when it is hard and for bathing us in your light. Amen


by Arthur Wilson

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