Saturday, August 22, 2015
21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
August 23, 2015 - 21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Cycle B, Green
Jos 24:1 - 2a, 15 – 17 / Eph 5:21 – 32 / Jn 6:60 - 69
Reading: Jos 24:1 - 2a, 15 – 17, 19-22
Joshua summoned all the tribes of Israel in Shechem, and assembled the elders, leaders, judges and secretaries. And together they presented themselves before God. Addressing the people, Joshua said to them: "Yahweh, the God of Israel, commands me to say to you: But if you do not want to serve Yahweh, make known this very day whom you shall serve – whether they be the gods your ancestors served in Mesopotamia or the gods of the Amorites who formerly occupied the land in which you now live. As for me, I and my household will serve Yahweh."
The people answered: "May God not permit that we ever abandon Yahweh to serve other gods! For it was he who brought us and our ancestors out of Egypt, the house of slavery. It was he who did those great wonders that we have seen; he protected us on the way and through all the land where we passed, driving away before us all the nations especially the Amorites who lived in this land. So we shall also serve Yahweh: he is our God!"
Joshua asked the people: "Will you be able to serve Yahweh? He is a
Holy God, a Jealous God who does not tolerate wickedness or faults. If you abandon Yahweh to serve other gods, he will turn against you and just as he has done you so much good, so shall he punish you and destroy you." The people replied: "No, may it not be as you say. We will serve Yahweh." Joshua said: "You yourselves are witnesses that you have chosen Yahweh to serve him." They answered: "We are witnesses."
Second Reading: Eph 5: 21 – 32
Let all kinds of submission to one another become obedience to Christ. So wives to their husbands: as to the Lord.
The husband is the head of his wife, as Christ is the head of the Church, his body, of whom he is also the Savior. And as the Church submits to Christ, so let a wife submit in everything to her husband.
As for you, husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. He washed her and made her holy by baptism in the Word. As he wanted a radiant Church without stain or wrinkle or any blemish, but holy and blameless, he himself had to prepare and present her to himself.
In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they love their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. And no one has ever hated his body; he feeds and takes care of it. That is just what Christ does for the Church, because we are members of his body.
Scripture says: Because of this a man shall leave his father and mother to be united with his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a very great mystery, and I refer to Christ and the Church.
Gospel: Jn 6:60 - 69
After hearing this, many of Jesus' followers said, "This language is very hard! Who can accept it?"
Jesus was aware that his disciples were murmuring about this and so he said to them, "Does this offend you? Then how will you react when you see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh cannot help. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. But among you there are some who do not believe."
From the beginning, Jesus knew who would betray him. So he added, "As I have told you, no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father."
After this many disciples withdrew and no longer followed him. Jesus asked the Twelve, "Will you also go away?" Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We now believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
"Will you also go away?" After Jesus told his listeners about himself as the bread of life, that "if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you," many of his followers said, "This language is very hard! Who can accept it?" And "after this many disciples withdrew and no longer followed him." So Jesus had to ask the Twelve, his chosen ones, "Will you also go away?"
In his name and for the Twelve, "Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We now believe that you are the Holy One of God.' "
Have we ever considered leaving the Church? Have we ever considered abandoning our Lord? Have we ever considered abandoning our faith and its beliefs? Have we ever felt bored or unhappy and even scandalized in the Church? How did we react at those times?
Somehow we have stayed despite our doubts and insecurities. Why? Because we have nowhere else to go? Or because he had the words of eternal life? Because we have come to truly believe that Jesus the Lord was the Holy One of God?
Considering some things could be helpful for us. First, God values our freedom. God is love and loves us, but he does not force his love on us; neither does he force us to love him back. Secondly, staying with God, we do need to constantly ask for his grace and help to be grateful for all he has done for and given to us and to ask to understand what it means to be with him and how to be able to live our lives accordingly. And thirdly, that, even if we rejected and said "No" to God, he does not cease to love and to wait for us to come back to him.
In the first reading from Joshua, "Joshua asked the people: 'Will you be able to serve Yahweh? He is a Holy God, a Jealous God who does not tolerate wickedness or faults. If you abandon Yahweh to serve other gods, he will turn against you and just as he has done you so much good, so shall he punish you and destroy you.' The people replied, 'No, may it not be as you say. We will serve Yahweh.' Joshua said: 'You yourselves are witnesses that you have chosen Yahweh to serve him.' They answered: 'We are witnesses.' "
Let us spend some time reflecting on these points. How will we answer when he asks, "Will you also go away?" And why our answer?
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
CHARLEMAGNE G. YU
CRISTINE C. TAN
MARY JANE BILLANES
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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