When one leaves a worshipping community, I fear it has more to do with evading an issue and less to do with following Jesus.

In the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, when Jesus delivers a long and intense pronouncement on the reception of his body and blood, many of Jesus’ disciples leave. His words carry scandal; too hard to accept.

However, the Twelve remain with Jesus, and Simon Peter speaks to their mindset: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

A Catholic would iterate these words as a way of understanding why one remains, when there may be other forces pressing for a departure from a faith community: the arrival of new pastoral leadership, challenging words from the pulpit, the loss of favorite parishioners or familiar customs.

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