Sunday, August 26, 2018
Today, in Mercy, our Sunday readings present us with spiritual ultimatums.
In our first reading, sensing his impending death, Joshua gathers the tribes on the Great Plains of Shechem – the land of their father Abraham. Joshua requires a commitment from the people:
“If it does not please you to serve the LORD,
decide today whom you will serve …
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
In other words, “fish or cut bait” – you’re either with God, or you’re not. And your lives should reflect the choice.
In our Gospel, Jesus too feels death’s approach. His teachings have become more intense and direct, particularly regarding the Eucharist. This intensity has caused some of his listeners to waver. They’re not sure they can accept his words. Some drift away.
Jesus challenges the Twelve, those on whom he depends to carry his message after his death.
“Do you also want to leave?
( As for the unfortunate and contested second reading from Ephesians, this long but superb article from Elizabeth Johnson is worth your time.
Music: I Will Choose Christ – Tom Booth