Today's Gospel is the conclusion of the Bread of Life discourse (John, chapter 10). After all Jesus said, drawing on the ancient story of the manna in the desert to illustrate his promise to give us "the real bread from heaven" which is "my flesh for the life of the world," Jesus sees a considerable number of disciples walk away. It was too much for them to bear listening to, much less look forward to. At Mass today, the homilist said that years ago, while doing his ministry studies, he interviewed the head of Chicago's rabbinical association. "What was it," he asked the rabbi, "that led to the definitive split between Jewish believers in Jesus and the rest of the Jewish community? Was it the indifference of the Jesus-group to the desecration of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD?" "No," the rabbi said. "It was the Eucharist: the thought of 'eating the flesh and drinking the blood' of the divinity is too abhorrent."
Perhaps those Jews, ancient and modern, who were scandalized by Jesus' words took them more seriously than many Catholics do today.