8-22-21 Reflection

First Reading: Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b
Second Reading: Ephesians 5:21-32
Gospel: John 6:60-69

Joshua addressed all the people: If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve…As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

    We can sense the drama in today’s gospel. Jesus’ disciples had to make a decision, stay with Him or walk away. What prompted this drama was Jesus’s words, earlier in chapter 6 of St. John’s gospel: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world…Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him…”   

     As a result of Jesus’ words: ”many disciples went back to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” We hear of others, namely the twelve apostles who stayed with him – with Peter as their spokesman. Why did Peter and the other apostles stay? The gospel doesn’t explicitly tell us…but we can imagine that they saw many of Jesus’ miracles and perhaps did not understand what Jesus was speaking about – but even so, they placed their trust in Him. More so, they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus. While the others, focused not on Jesus, but on the problem they found with His words. 

     Each day, we too make a decision whether to follow Jesus or not…when we go to Mass on Sunday – we follow Jesus; when we make prayer a priority every day – we follow Jesus; when we help someone, speak a kind word or forgive – we follow Jesus; when we say no to temptation and the resulting sin – we follow Jesus; when we choose to not focus on our problems, but on Jesus Christ – we follow Him; when we place our trust in Jesus – we follow Him. 

     While we may be like Peter and the other apostles, not fully understanding Jesus words or His direction – we respond like Peter: ”Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe that you are the Holy One of God.” Walk or stay with Jesus – the choice is ours!

May God bless us always! 
Deacon Mike