Sunday Reflection for August 23rd by Eleanor Rabnett

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Featured, Reflections | 0 comments

Sunday Reflection for August 23rd by Eleanor Rabnett 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time First Reading:  Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b Second Reading:  Ephesians 4:32-5:1-2, 21-23 Gospel:  John 6:53, 60-69 “And you – do you also wish to go away?” In preparing for this reflection I looked at the readings, first Joshua and then Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.  I didn’t have to go too far before wondering if I wanted to leave.  So I stopped – and then I read it again. I needed to remember that Paul was speaking to people of a time that was 2000 years ago.  We don’t usually speak in that way now because OUR understanding of God and the world has changed – it’s grown – just as we grow from childhood to adulthood.  Paul begins; “Brothers and sisters:  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.”  And then goes further telling us how to do that:  by becoming imitators of God – living in love and in being subject to one another.  There’s the word:  “subject”.  A synonym of “subject” as in subjecting oneself to another is to “expose oneself to another” – to open oneself to another.   We open ourselves, our inner being to God and to one another- that is a part of our loving.  We surrender ourselves to God and to each other in love. Paul finished it saying:  “This is a great mystery…”  He did not say that we have to explain it or even understand it – he said only that this is a great mystery. In the first reading Joshua asks “who will you serve” and the people responded with “we will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”  And in the Gospel we have Jesus asking almost the same question.  Turning to his disciples, noting to them that his teaching is difficult, he asked “who will accept it?”  Just as the people of Israel answered Joshua that they would follow the Lord – so Peter told Jesus the same when he said” Lord, to whom can we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  ” “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”  Strong words, really strong words.  Even today with all that I have learned and experienced, those words of Jesus are not very comfortable. Scripture scholars tell us this is John at his best – John was not quoting Jesus but rather after having reflected for many years on all that he heard and saw – he was sharing what he thought was the meaning of the...

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