21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (B) John 6: 60-69

August 26, 2018

“Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”.

We make day after day decisions as part of our life. Many of those are not too relevant resolutions, like the places where we go, the people we talk to, the food we eat. Making these choices we can easily change from one to another, without affecting our life. But there are some important resolutions, that when we make a strong commitment, they become permanent. Examples of these we come across today in our Scripture readings.

In our Biblical readings we hear today there are three very important decisions: In his Book, Moses´ successor, Joshua, in front of all the tribes of Israel “Summoning their elders, their leaders, their judges, and their officers (…) 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 (…) As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.´”

In his Letter to the Ephesians, quoting the Gospel, about love and unity in matrimony, Saint Paul says, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” And matrimony is a serious lifetime commitment. In the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments, matrimony is a symbol of God´s commitment, and people´s commitment for each other.

In John´s Gospel, when some of Jesus´ disciples seem no longer accompanied him, Jesus challenges his apostles´ sense of fidelity to make a decision about him, “He 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.” Although Peter will fail before Jesus´ Passion, the sermon of the Bread of Life is so clear to him, that on behave of the twelve he makes his commitment to be united to his Master, and therefore, in that way he helps us in our personal profession of faith, in situations of doubt that may confront our faith in the Holy Eucharist, before every important decision, in front of a difficulty or trial, our prayer is, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

When the disciples heard Jesus´ teaching, and saw him healing many sick people, they really enjoined been in his company. But today´s demand of Jesus is not too easy; he requires a yes or no decision, their absolute trust and faith in him, even if for the just a natural level of understanding, eating his flesh and drinking his blood could sound like something illogical; by the matter of fact, for some of the disciples this was too hard to accept, that some of them left. That was beyond their natural capacity of man to understand. This is why Jesus calls for a radical faith answer, and they receive a gift beyond all expectations: his loving presence for ever.

Faith in Jesus is a gift beyond human expectation and comprehension. The Eucharist and the whole Gospel requires our faith commitment. And faith is not only consent to a formulation of a statement of beliefs but a personal covenant with God. Like companionship and love, faith is mutual sharing and self-giving.

One of our fundamental beliefs in Jesus is based in our faithful reception of his Eucharis as the strongest bind with Christ´s Sacrament of Faith. If we believe in Jesus we accept him as the Bread of Live, and we receive the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and resurrection and our promise of everlasting life.

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