Domingo, 23 de agosto de 2015

Catholic Calendar & Daily Meditations
Sunday, August 23, 2015

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b
Psalm 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21
Ephesians 5:21-32
John 6:60-69

A reflection on today's Sacred Scriptures:

Today's readings capture two momentous events in all of salvation history. They capture two decisions that changed everything for Israel and for the Catholic Church.

The first reading describes a choice that God offers Joshua and those who have just entered the Promised Land. Joshua challenges the frightened people gathered around him, "Decide today whom you will serve…" The God who brought you from Egypt to this lush, fertile land, or the gods of the Amorites in whose territory you now dwell? The choice is up to you. And while still pondering the decision they must make, he adds the now-famous statement, "As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Fortunately for themselves and their children, they respond, "We also will serve the one Lord God."

In today's Gospel, Jesus does the same thing. He puts the choice to His apostles of following Him, or of leaving Him. Many of the Lord's followers had left Him because of His teaching that He Himself is the Bread of Life. If they were willing to eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, they would live forever. Otherwise, they would die. Many were shocked and offended. So they "walked with Him no longer."

Jesus turns to the Twelve and says, "Do you also want to leave?" It's as though He had added, "It's your decision. I'm not going to make your minds up for you!" Fortunately for them and for the future Church, they must have seen the hurt in His eyes. Peter loved Him enough to reply, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. For we have come to believe and are convinced that You are the Holy One of God." There are many former Catholics who find the message of the Church today "too much for them." Some have left because of Church doctrine, others because of the stand of the Church on abortion or contraception—or social justice issues. If only they too could see the hurt on Jesus' face! It might change their minds.

The second reading from Ephesians should capture the attention of all married couples, since it is so often misunderstood. It's the famous passage about wives being "subordinate" to their husbands. Women feel that this statement has led to much "wife beating" and worse.

It all hinges on the word "subordinate." We need to read the whole passage to understand St. Paul properly. He starts off by telling us that Christians ought to be "subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ." That means loving and caring for one another as Christ loves us. It means being attentive to each other's gifts. Furthermore, St. Paul tells husbands to love their wives "as their own bodies…for no one hates one's own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it." In a nutshell, marriage is all about sacrificing for one another, listening carefully to each other, and telling the truth to one another. All lack of respect, all physical, verbal, emotional or spiritual abuse, is out. And that's really God's idea of a perfect marriage—a romance between equals.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
| email: pwhitmore29( )

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Publicado por verdenaranja @ 22:49  | Espiritualidad
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