Saturday, August 24, 2019

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 122

1st Reading – JOS 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.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21

R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Many are the troubles of the just one,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him;
he watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

2nd Reading – EPH 5:21-32 OR 5:2A, 25-32

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.

or

Brothers and sisters:
Live in love, as Christ loved us.
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.

Alleluia – JN 6:63C, 68C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 6:60-69

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.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Reflections

We Have Come to Believe

Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified

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.” John 6:66-69

As a result of what? As a result of Jesus’ teaching on the Eucharist “many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” The Eucharist was the deepest and most beautiful teaching Jesus had given, but for some it was more than they could handle. So many left Him. But this passage also reveals the beautiful faith of the Apostles, especially Peter.

First of all, Jesus does not back down in any way from His beautiful and very deep teaching on the Holy Eucharist. What He said He stands behind, namely, that “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (John 6:53). He goes on to say, “For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink” (John 6:55).

From there, Jesus turns to His disciples and gives them the freedom to accept or reject what He just taught. This freedom He gives to them is essential to them entering into authentic faith. If Jesus would have pressured or manipulated the disciples, it would have been hard for them to freely choose to accept Him and all He taught.

The same is true with us. Jesus does not require us to follow Him. He will not force or manipulate us into believing. He will not pressure us. Rather, Jesus offers Himself and His teachings and invites us to believe.

Within this context, Peter makes a profound statement of faith. “Master, to whom shall we go?” In other words, Peter was saying, “Lord, even if the teaching is hard, and even if it is unpopular to follow you, and even if we must suffer, be rejected, be misunderstood…you are the best option.” Think about it. What other option even comes close to the option of accepting the full and deep teachings of Jesus? Is it better to only take part of what He says? Doing that is a form of rejection of Him.

Peter gives us the witness of one who has come to believe that there is only one good option in life. That option is the choice to follow Jesus no matter what. Nothing in life is worth choosing over Christ. We should strive to discover this truth that He is the only one worth choosing.

Reflect, today, upon these words of Peter. “Lord, to whom shall we go?” Jesus is God, the Messiah and Savior. He has the words of everlasting life. He is the best “option” to choose. Say those words of Peter and, in saying them, make the choice to choose Him no matter how popular that choice is and no matter if others are making it. Going with the flow leads us down the wrong river. Making the right choice sets us on solid ground.

Lord, there is no place for me to go other than You and Your way. You are the Lord of all and You are the Messiah. I choose You and accept all that You have taught. Jesus, I trust in You.

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB 

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About Laban Thua 1020 Articles
I am a Commissioned Liturgy Minister and also a Lector at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church. Am also a Commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA), Member and a Lover of the Catholic Church and its teachings. My passion is disseminating the Catholic Daily Readings and Reflections, Bible Verse of the Day, Catholic Quote of the Day and Catholic Saint of the Day Information every day to all Catholic Faithfuls throughout the world.