21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Liturgical Year B)
First Reading — Joshua 24:1-2, 15-17, 18
Responsorial Psalm — Psalms 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23
Second Reading — Ephesians 5:21-32
Gospel — John 6:60-69
A man was talking rather on his cell phone in the midst of a crowd. “I know it’s something you want,” he said earnestly, “but I don’t think tattoos are a good idea. And the same goes for body piercing. As long as you’re living in my house, I think you should respect my wishes.” The bystanders were silently cheering his firmness. Then came his closing comment, “You don’t need a tattoo. And besides that, you’re 75 years old, mother!”
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We all have so many wants and desires: The desire to BE the best, to HAVE the best, to LOOK the best, and to MOVE with the best. But underneath all that restless searching is a longing for something more, something that will fill our hearts full and not leave us disappointed when we get it.
We’ve all looked in many places for that special something, and we’ve all been disappointed many times. Slowly we’ve come to see how right Peter was when Jesus asked him if he too were going to leave. Peter said, “To whom would I go, Lord? You have the words of everlasting life.” And not just the words, but the very essence of life.
Walking side by side with the Lord is the only thing that can give our days the purpose and joy we desire. Walking consciously with the Lord through the minutes and the hours can bring to the most trivial of tasks and the simplest encounters a satisfaction and a peacefulness that nothing else can bring. Walking with the Lord in faith through the hard times and the sad times can mean the difference between a slow, lingering inner death and a life that’s still worth living.
Peter was right: Our Lord IS the only one who can give us life. We know that. We gather here in church because we believe that. But sometimes we forget. And as a result, some parts of our days are still missing his touch. Some parts of our lives are still suffering the sadness and the disappointment that walking without him, even for a little while, always brings.
So let us begin again by praying:
Lord, I know that you are at my side and I trust you with all my heart. Take my hand now, and walk with me through the minutes and the hours. Together we can make this a day worth remembering, no matter what comes. And together we can find the way home. Amen.