The Church has daily Bible readings. Today, one of them includes part of His Great Dividing Instruction by which He separates sheep from goats, and the living from the dead. John 6:33-66 is a hard test for Protestants.
John 6:44-51 begins with a scary part: “Jesus said to the crowds: ‘No one can come to Me unless he is drawn by The Father Who sent Me, and I will raise him up at the last day.'”
Jesus is saying there is a “selectivity”. Simply thinking or saying, “I believe, therefore I am saved.” will not cause God to immediately order St. Peter to open the Pearly Gates on our behalf. Only those “drawn by The Father Who sent Me” will be raised “at the last day”.
He Who fulfilled the prophecies continues: “It is written in the prophets: They shall all be taught by God. Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the One Who is from God; He has seen the Father.”
Protestants breathe a collective sigh of relief! Jesus has said something simple and agreeable! It seems that all Christians, by merely listening and learning, come to Him! Salvation goes on to seem even simpler because all Christians, Protestant and Catholic, believe His next words:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” The vast horde of the “I believe so I am saved!” crowd is bursting with self-satisfaction! Often, they leap to their feet, applaud, and shout “Amen!” again and again and again.
Then, Jesus says something that many can’t believe: “I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world.”
Uh-oh. All of a sudden, Protestants of every age no longer find themselves among those “drawn by The Father” to Jesus. In fact, they find God pushing them away from Jesus! They repeat to each other the very words spoken by the first Protestants who heard Jesus say that: “This is intolerable!”
He repeats His Dividing Instruction: “If you do not eat My Body and drink My Blood you do not have life in you.”
In every age, those whom God blesses with humble obedience stay with Him. Those “drawn by The Father” were at The Last Supper, where He first changed bread and wine into His Body and Blood. In every following generation, those whom “those drawn by The Father Who sent Me” attend Catholic Mass, where priests whom He ordained in Living Link with The Apostles continue to be empowered to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood and share it with those “drawn by The Father Who sent Me”.
With whom is that Holy Food that nourishes those who will live forever shared? Only those among whom “the Father Who sent Me draw him” and no one else.
No Protestant who reads that can justify ignoring it by saying “No one ever told me.” The words, while are clear. John 6:33-66 is a hard test for Protestants. They may be helped to pass if we remind them: Jesus told Peter three times to only “feed My sheep.” He did not tell Him to feed anyone else’s.
We pray that all will ask God to let them hear, heed, and plead to be among those who believe and obey sufficiently to be among those “drawn by The Father Who sent Me” to eternal life.