21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B by Fr Isaac A. Mensah

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B by Fr Isaac A. Mensah

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

Theme: “Do you also want to leave:-The Power of Choice”


The late former United Nation’s Secretary General, Kofi Annan, once said, “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there”. Choice-making characterizes life. You must choose to take a chance before your life could change; failure to make a choice is even a choice itself. This is exactly what the readings of today draw our attention to.

Explanation of the text

In our first reading, having almost come to the end of his mission, Joshua reminded Israel of how faithful and good the Lord has been to them. Joshua confronts them to make a decision but he didn’t hesitate to pledge on behalf of his family their unflinching allegiance to serve Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Finally, he challenged them: “If you will not serve the Lord, choose today whom you wish to serve…” Their response was quite rapid and positive: “We have no intention of deserting the Lord our God…”

In the Gospel Jesus saw the entrenched position taken by some of his audience who couldn’t countenance his discourse on the Body and Blood as his very flesh. Some of his disciples deserted him because his teachings didn’t make sense nay very hard to be understood. As the new Joshua, Jesus asked the rest of his disciples to make a choice: ” do you also want to leave?” The swift response of Peter, “Lord to whom shall we go, you’ve the words of eternal life”, isn’t just a mere profession of faith but one borne out of personal conviction because he had been with Jesus right from his public ministry and had listened to his discourse on the Bread of Life.

We too like Peter, have come to a point where we must serve God with conviction and not out of a here say. This calls for personal decision to have a personal encounter with Jesus. It is one thing to be born a Christian; it is another to choose to remain one. It is one thing to be born a Catholic; it is another to choose to remain one. To be born a Christian, could be an accident. To decide to remain one is a decision. Are you just a follower of Christ because you were born into it? Decisions are made after due consideration of important factors.

In our second reading, Paul by analogy of husband and wife’s love tries to explain the kind of love that exists between Christ and his Church. For Paul then nothing can separate Christ’s love from his Church. Nonetheless Christians and believers are to make a personal choice to reciprocate this love of Christ. This decision is not a single shot thing. It is something that we must make it everyday. Remember that “everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice.” ― Anonymous. And know that those who change their God have many sorrows – Psalm 16:4.



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