Sunday, August 26, 2012
Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18 Ephesians 5:25-32 John 6:60-69
As I pondered the three readings this week, the theme of decision seemed to appear. Joshua challenges the people to take a stand once and for all and to choose whom they will serve. Will they serve the Lord God or will they serve pagan idols? He says that he and his household will serve the Lord. After remembering all that the Lord God had done for them the people respond: “Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.” And what is our decision? Perhaps we have been lax in serving our God and have spent more time pursuing other gods like money, status and pleasure. As believers, it is always time to turn towards our God anew and recommit ourselves to pursuing what is good and true and honorable.
In Ephesians Paul speaks of how husbands and wives should respect and love one another. I was reminded of the very valuable Worldwide Marriage Encounter Program. In it couples learn that marriage is a decision that they must renew every day and that marriage is work if it is to last until death. Too many couples give up too easily, failing to work at marriage and at renewing the decision to love on a daily basis.
In the Gospel we know that Jesus often says things that are hard to accept and to live. Just before this particular passage, he had said that he was the Bread of life and that this bread would be his flesh for us to eat. This was a hard saying for those who heard it for the first time and some disciples left and ceased to follow and listen to his words. Jesus then turned to his apostles and asked whether they too would leave him. Peter, the most outspoken of them all, responded: “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” This answer is very precious to me. Twenty-five years ago when the last of the seven women who had entered religious life with me in 1961 left our Congregation, I felt Jesus asking me the very question he asked the disciples. Peter’s words came to mind and I made the decision anew to remain in my vocation and to continue to serve God’s people as a Sister of St. Chretienne. Some Scripture passages can become very meaningful to us if we ponder them often in prayer.
What decisions do we need to make or to renew? Would they be decisions about serving God or returning to our worshiping communities? Could they be decisions about forgiving and renewing relationships? Would they be decisions to be better parents, better friends or better co-workers? As members of St. Mary’s Health System, could we renew our commitment to put patients first and to recommit ourselves to our mission?
Our Mission is to continue the healing ministry of the Catholic Church in the Spirit of St. Marguerite d’Youville by providing preventive, curative, restorative and supportive services with compassion and respect for everyone.
Sr. Suzanne Beaudoin, SSCh
Director of Pastoral Care
Tags: 21st sunday of ordinary time, apostles, bread of life, disciples, Ephesians 5, eternal life, Gospel, pastoral care, religious life, Scribes, St. Mary's Health System, st. mary's regional medical center, sunday reading, Sunday Scribes