Thoughts on the Readings for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) 2015

For this Sunday’s readings, click on the link below and copy and paste it into your browser.  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/082315.cfm

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.   Often it seems like our lives are just one decision after another.   Some are minor: What should I wear today? What should I have for breakfast?   Some are major: Should I marry this person?  Should I take this job?   In our Gospel this Sunday “the Twelve” are faced with a major decision.  This Gospel follows immediately after Jesus’ words about eating his flesh and drinking his blood.  Many of Jesus disciples misunderstood these words and “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?’  Peter answered him ‘Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’”   

In our first reading this Sunday the tribes of Israel also faced a decision.  We are told that Joshua gathered the people and addressed them in these words.  “If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling.  As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”   The people responded: “we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”   

The decisions we have to make about following the Lord are usually not as dramatic as those faced by the Twelve or by the tribes of Israel.  Yet each day we are faced with decisions both small and large that ultimately will determine whether we will follow the Lord or chose another path.   

Our second reading this weekend is from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians.   In the section we read today Paul reminds us that, as Christians, our relationships with one another must have Christ as their model.  “For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church.”   

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. Have you ever had to make a life changing decision to follow Christ?   
  2. What small decisions have helped you to follow Christ?
  3. When have you not used Christ as your model in the way you have treated someone?   
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Comments

1. Although I did not and do not think of it as following Christ, but as simply following his advice, I recently decided to bless a few people who (whom?) I felt were persecuting me. The act of blessing them helped me detach from an awfulness I could not control. I still must work at it. Anger flares more suddenly than the conscious decision to bless, but blessing those bullies and detaching from their behavior helps me get on with my day.. and my life.

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