Oooo! The “hard sayings” of Jesus. No. Just a bit of irony. Just a bit of helpful sarcasm from our Lord favoring our understanding. As one reader put it: “Well… hell!”
Update: In speaking with Father Gordon MacRae about this he told me a story which he often recounts to me whenever I mention my difficulty preaching, bringing the emphasis instead to those who are listening to any homily, putting the preacher in his place.
He said that one day he had laryngitis and could hardly whisper out the Gospel, so he skipped the homily and went right to the offertory, but they couldn’t quite hear what he was saying, just assuming he was saying the offertory prayer “Blessed are you Lord God of all creation…”
Instead, while standing now at the altar he was apologizing to the congregation that he had lost his voice and so there would be no homily. Without missing a beat they responded in union: “Blessed by God forever.”
That’s Father Gordon’s commentary on my homilies. Hahaha.