Saturday, August 26, 2006
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 27, 2006
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time - B
JOSHUA 24:1-2A, 15-17, 18B
Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem, summoning
their elders, their leaders, their judges, and their officers. When
they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people: "If it
does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will
serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the
Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling. As for me and my
household, we will serve the LORD." But the people answered, "Far be it
from us to forsake the LORD for the service of other gods. For it was
the LORD, our God, who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of
Egypt, out of a state of slavery. He performed those great miracles
before our very eyes and protected us along our entire journey and
among the peoples through whom we passed. Therefore we also will serve
the LORD, for he is our God."
Brothers and sisters: Be subordinate to one another out of reverence
for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the
Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the
church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate
to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in
everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the
bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the
church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she
might be holy and without blemish. So also husbands should love their
wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no
one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as
Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. For this
reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his
wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but
I speak in reference to Christ and the church.
Many of Jesus' disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard;
who can accept it?" Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring
about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you? What if you were to
see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit
that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have
spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not
believe." Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have
told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my
Father." As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their
former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to
the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him,
"Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We
have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of
God uses ordinary things of life in coming to us personally to renew
and strengthen us, to assure us of forgiveness and salvation. Christ is
with us in all of life. "Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood
abide in me, and I in them." (John 6:56)
When the disciples complained about this difficult saying, Jesus asked
if they were scandalized. Not all the followers of Jesus could accept
his words. Some turned away and left him.
Only the twelve disciples seemed faithful. In this setting Simon Peter
speaks for the group when they are given the choice between deserting
their Lord or not. Peter makes a confession of faith: "Lord, to can we
go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and
know that you are the Holy One of God."
This difficult chapter of John's Gospel points to an essential truth
about Christian faith and life sometimes misunderstood, especially by
people outside of the community of believers. Being a Christian is not
primarily subscribing to a set of commandments, rules and regulations,
nor is it agreeing with certain teachings. Being a Christian is a
personal commitment to Jesus Christ, which leads to discipleship. When
Jesus asked the twelve if they also wanted to leave him, Peter
responded with conviction - they will follow him.
In today's reading, the disciples were disturbed because they had to
make a decision, a commitment to follow Jesus with all the uncertainty
and risk involved. It would be tempting to play it safe and to not
stake your life on this Jesus, who might or might not be the Messiah.
But Jesus made it plain that a radical, personal commitment is the
proper response to the graciousness of God, who comes to love us and
save us. Faith is the word, which best describes our response to the
God, who enters the world fully and completely in Jesus in order to
love us and forgive us.
And for what? That we might share in the gift of life eternal. Faith is
not mere intellectual assent, a vague kind of agreement that something
is true. It is staking our life on God's promise. It affects every area
of our being.
Christian faith is difficult because it calls on us to give up our
independence and to trust totally in God.
We like to have God in our lives, but on our own terms. We also want to
have God available for emergencies. There are parts of our lives we'd
like to hide from God. For some people the Church is fine unless it
interferes with their daily life. There are attractive alternatives
seeking our commitment - money, success, popularity, power, sex, and
Yet the God who comes to us in Jesus Christ calls us to total
commitment. Only when Christ is number one in our lives will all the
other blessings of life find their proper place. Christian faith
touches every aspect of life. Like the twelve disciples, we are called
to follow Jesus totally and without reservation.
God is gracious to you and me, coming to us in Jesus Christ to love us
and forgive us as we are and where we are. We are assured of his
unfailing love and strength for each day.
As the gracious God comes to us in this Eucharist, let us, like Israel
of old, respond, "Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the personal prayer intentions of Kit Navarro
- for the personal prayer intentions of Mian Atencio
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Edwin C. Inocentes
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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� 2006 Daily-Homily