Daily Reflection – Aug 26, 2018
Sunday 26 August 2018
First Reading: JOS 24:1-2A, 15-17, 18B
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
PS 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21
Second Reading: EPH 5:21-32 OR 5:2A, 25-32
Gospel Reading: JN 6:60-69
Today’s Note: Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.”
Master, to whom shall we go? (John 6:68)
Preparing the Israelites to recommit themselves to their covenant with God, Joshua recounted the many ways God had delivered them from their enemies. He reminded them that God had chosen them to be his people and given them the Promised Land as their inheritance. In return, God asked them to honor and serve him alone (Joshua 24:1-15).
Today at Mass, we will have yet another opportunity to recommit ourselves to our new covenant in Christ. Our enemies may not be the sword or spear of other nations. But like our ancestors in the faith, we face battles against fear, pride, ignorance, and complacency. We may not have to conquer a piece of land, but God wants all of us to become witnesses to our love for Jesus and his people.
This is a high calling, so it’s a good thing that Jesus has promised to give us himself as our strength for the battle. We are blessed that he offers us his own life so that we can find the grace to love unconditionally and forgive seventy times seven times—just as he does.
Many disciples who heard Jesus’ teaching on the Bread of Life could not accept it. Why would they need his flesh and blood to have life with God? They already had the Law of Moses. But Peter saw through these objections and proclaimed: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Just as God was the Israelites’ only hope in conquering the Promised Land, Jesus was Peter’s only hope in living a life of purity, love, and freedom.
You are about to receive Jesus in Communion. Look closely at the Host and the chalice. You are receiving something that has astonished believers for two thousand years. You may not understand this great mystery, but you can still echo Peter’s words: “Master, where else can I go? You alone can give me what I need.”
“Jesus, I know that I am weak, but you are strong. Help me to follow you wherever you go.”