Scripture Reflection. . .
Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Joshua 24:1-2;15-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34 “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”
Second Reading: Ephesians 5:21-32
Gospel: John 6: 60-69
There is a strong overarching theme of servitude in the first two readings today. Joshua beseeches the people to serve the God who saved them. St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians directs husbands and wives to serve and respect one another and poses some controversy especially with language that in contemporary times speaks to gender inequality. Ultimately the Letter points to a deeper controversy: God as servant. Marriage is the metaphor for God’s relationship to God’s people. As God has loved and served us so are we called to love and serve one another.
Perhaps this is the source of conflict in the Gospel. Jesus has concluded teaching that he has come so that we might have life. He will now live all his words and give of his flesh and blood in self-sacrificing love. Who can accept this? Many followers leave; only a few remain to follow a God who calls us to a life of loving service.
The same Responsorial Psalm has accompanied the reading for the past three weeks. It speaks to God’s promise to be with us on the journey. We serve not out of fear but because we have tasted a sweetness to which nothing else can be compared.
In Our Lives as Sisters of the Redeemer . . .
Through the inspiration and hard work of one of our Sisters we were able to offer vacation bible school for the eighth year this past week. So many individuals dedicated themselves to preparing for the week and ensuring that the children experienced the love of God. This was truly an act of loving service.
We have in our midst a young woman who is following God’s call to loving service. Jackie arrived for a year long experience as a Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteer. She has committed to a life of faith, community and service.
Two of our Sisters continue their visit with our Sisters in Tanzania, East Africa. This past week they joined in celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Congregation in Tanzania. The much needed ministries of education and health care are carried out with love and compassion.
In Your Life . . .
You may want to pray with this spiritual practice offered by Richard Rohr:
“In several places Jesus says, (Mark 12:30, for example): “You shall love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Jesus even counsels the same love toward the neighbor (Matthew 22:39). The only way to integrate action and contemplation is to go ahead and do your action, but every day to ask yourself why you’re doing it. Is it to make money? Is it to have a good reputation? Is it to keep busy? Or is it for the love of God?“
Blessings on your week!