Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time (23rd August 2015)

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time  23rd August 2015

Its about endings and beginnings and about making and renewing choices.  Joshua having taken over from Moses leads the people into the Promised Land.  They arrive at Shechem where Joshua leads a Covenant renewal ceremony.  He places it plainly before the people choose now between the God who has brought you to the promised land or follow the way of your ancestors.  All the Tribes of Israel make a solemn declaration and commit themselves to serve the Lord always.

Jesus comes to end of his great teaching on the Bread of Life.  Some of  the people while attracted to him and his teachings find what he says too much to take and walk away.  Jesus asks the disciples ‘do you want to go too?’  To which they reply,  ‘but to whom shall we go you have the message of eternal life.’

Its really a challenge to believe, not just to accept, but really believe that Jesus is the One True Source that satisfies the deepest hunger of the human heart and spirit.  He is the food for the journey, he is the nourishment that lasts and that sustains us.  And that is our hope.

Today, we too are being challenged, to give our loyalty to Jesus.  To really believe that Jesus, the Bread of Life, literally takes us out of this world, will we accept or will be too find it intolerable language, too difficult to accept and walk away.

We, as the psalmist says are, ‘to taste and see that the Lord is good.’  But for us we are not to just believe, to celebrate and to receive.  We are as St. Augustine said’ To become what we receive’.  To live out in our daily lives the fullness of the Eucharist, to literally walk with Jesus, every step, everyday.  To be his disciples and his preachers by what we say and what we do. In the words of St. Teresa of Avila:  “Christ has no body now but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on this world, yours are the feet with which He walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes. You are His body. Christ has no body now on earth
but yours.”

Prayer of the Faithful:  That we may believe what we receive and become what we receive in everything we say and do. 

Contributor: Fr Christy Fitzgerald, Diocese of Cork and Ross