All of the sin of humankind can be boiled down to one simple explanation: We do not trust God. While there may be many conditions, circumstances, and past baggage that factor into why we commit the sins that we do, ultimately every decision against God’s divine will is one that indicates that we do not trust Him. We do not have to look much further than Adam and Eve to see that the human condition that chooses to grasp after what it wants rather than trust God will give us what we need. The consequences of their action resound through human history, and we all share in its effects. In our fallen condition, we know in the depth of our souls that we cannot fully trust God or those around us. Because of this lack of trust, the unity of God’s family is constantly fractured throughout human history to this day. Left to our own devices, there is no hope for us to climb out of our fallen condition. 

But the Good News of the Gospel is that God sent His Word to teach and show us how to live, to take away the guilt of our sins, and to give us the Body of Christ (the Church and the sacraments). As the Word of God, Jesus communicates to us the love of the Father and what it means to live in that love with the people around us. It is a gift that we could never repay, and the beauty is that Jesus has already paid for it in full on the Cross.

Even with all this, do we fully trust Jesus? The man who was born in a stable, grew up in poverty, healed the sick, raised the dead, rebuked the prideful, dined with sinners, died abandoned and alone, rose in the glory of His Father, and loved His followers to the end? Yes, He said and did some nice things, but do we trust Him as the Son of God? A good litmus test for us to know if we trust someone completely is if we can believe the most outlandish thing that they say. 

What was this for Jesus? The Bread of Life Discourse. In John 6, just before He is prepping for his final trip to Jerusalem, Jesus tells massive crowds, his disciples, and His apostles that they cannot have eternal life unless they eat His flesh and drink His blood. The crowds were disgusted, and when the opportunity arose for Jesus to clarify a possible misunderstanding, He doubled down that He meant what He said. The crowds leave. Many disciples (people who had followed him for years) asked who could accept this teaching and left as well. 

Then Jesus turns to his apostles and challenges them, Will you also go? Peter responds, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the Words of Eternal life. The apostles took Jesus at His Word. Notice, Peter does not say he understood what Jesus meant. He only asserts that He knows who Jesus is, and that is the reason he will take Jesus at His Word. The rest of the Apostles stay in agreement with Peter. Because of their time spent following Jesus, God had given them the faith to believe. It is because of their faith that at the Last Supper they are the first to receive the Eucharist when Jesus changes the bread and wine into His Body and Blood through His Word.

Jesus’ single hardest teaching to accept is that the Eucharist is His Body and Blood. The current statistics and mass attendance give witness to this. As our Church is in the midst of a Eucharistic Revival, we must allow ourselves to sit with Jesus’ challenge: Will you also go? How are we to believe this fantastic teaching; that ordinary bread and wine can become the Body and Blood of our God? The key comes not from an incredible act of the will, but through spending time with Jesus and allowing ourselves to be changed by His Word to trust as the Apostles did. Like the bread and wine, we must allow ourselves to be transformed into something completely different while retaining our outward appearance. 

When we accept this teaching in the depths of our hearts, the rest of Jesus’ teachings all fall into place. The trust that we were created for is provided not through any merit of our own, but through our residing in Him. As our Church takes the time to recommit itself to Jesus in the Eucharist, we must ask for the grace to take Jesus at his Word.