Lord, yours is the last word. Continue to talk to us...

21st Sunday of the Year - B

Joshua 24: 1-2a, 15-17, 18b; Psalm 33; Ephes. 5: 21-32; John 6: 60-69

Read: In those days Jesus spoke about the Bread of Life. When they heard this, many of his disciples said: “This is intolerable language! How could anyone accept it?” Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said: “Do these words upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.”

For Jesus knew from the outset those who do not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on: “This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him.” From that day, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him. Then Jesus said to the Twelve: “What about you, do you want to go away too?” Simon Peter answered: “Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Reflect: We are in the last part of Chapter 6 of St. John’s Gospel, a Chapter that started with the miracle of the distribution of bread and continued with Jesus’ sermon at Capernaum. The Jews who used to seek Jesus as the one who worked miracles, were now faced with a radical choice that they had to make; whether to continue living in the same way they did by adapting themselves to the wisdom of this world, and to be content with material bread, or to make a great leap in quality, by accepting the Gospel, which is the bread of life.

This a challenge with which we ourselves are being confronted by today; we need to choose in whom we believe and what we want to believe. To believe in the Gospel means to accept such words as: “That woman is not yours”; “Love your enemies”; “Give back what you have stolen”; “Do not hoard treasures on this earth”; “This is my body, this is my blood”. What are we going to do in the presence of “bread of life” like this? Are we going to say: “this is intolerable language” and to leave Jesus or, like Simon Peter, will faithfully say: “Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know you are the Holy One of God?”

Pray: Lord, yours is the last word. Continue to talk to us ….. even if this is intolerable language. Because you alone are able to remove us from this bondage, to make great things before us, to protect us along the way.

Act: “Therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him diligently and faithfully; keep away from the gods that your forefathers worshipped beyond the river and in Egypt and serve the Lord. And if you have no wish to serve the Lord, choose today whom you wish to serve.” (Joshua 24: 14-15)


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