Christ’s revelation of His True Presence in the Eucharist (John 6:22-59) caused many disciples, even His brethren (male relatives from the families of the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph; Christ had no biological brothers) to lose faith and turn away; others wanted Christ to perform more public miracles to reveal Himself to Israel. After rejecting His brethren’s challenges to go with them and perform miraculous works at the Feast of the Tabernacles in Jerusalem, Christ followed a few days later, traveling in private.

Christ goes to the Temple and preaches, causing the people to become divided; some are awed and some accuse Christ of being demon-possessed. The plot to kill Christ is known among the people and they become surprised and confused because Christ boldly teaching openly. Some wonder why the Jewish leaders have not seized Christ, speculating the leaders secretly know Christ is the long-awaited Messiah. Others believe that Christ cannot be the Messiah for they believe the Messiah will be raised in hidden obscurity (not Nazareth) or come from Bethlehem; ironically, Christ comes from the mysterious obscurity of Heaven and is born in Bethlehem.

Christ challenges the crowd’s confusion about His origins but only offers ambiguous references to His divinity; He refers to God the Father in veiled terms and that the Father has sent Him. Christ’s answer is sufficiently understood as blasphemous and the authorities try to arrest Him; mysteriously, they are unable to arrest Christ because He is divinely protected and will not allow His Passion until the timing is right. Because the authorities fail to arrest Him and because of His many signs, large numbers of men come to believe He is the Messiah.

1)  Because Christ is a Divine Person, He is sometimes speaks and acts in mysterious and unexpected ways which are not always understood by men. Marvel at Christ’s eternal perspective and trust that His perfect plan of Salvation History is being played out in your life.

2) During the Incarnation, many men were confused about Christ’s identity. During Lent, renew your understanding of Christ’s Identity (CCC 430-455) and pray that He help you know Him better.

3) To grow as a Catholic is to draw ever closer to Christ.  During Lent, realize that Knowing Christ is the Heart of Catechesis (CCC 426-429) and commit to draw closer to Christ through Scripture, prayer and the Sacraments.