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Fr. Vien: Choose Christ

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time – B  (2015)

We all make decisions every day, and don’t think much of it.  We decide what to wear or what to eat for lunch.  But some decisions, like moving or taking a new job or deciding if this is the right person to marry or choosing a vocation, require discernment, that is thought, reflection, prayer, counsel, advice from others, confirmation.  Yes, sometimes we don’t give much thought to our choices and decisions, but other times it’s good to take some time and prayer to really discern God’s will in making a choice.

The Scripture readings that we hear today speak about many people and their decisions to follow the Lord.  In the first reading, Joshua, the leader of Israel, tells the people that they must make a choice.  They have the freedom to serve God or not.  And Joshua says, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua gives his people the freedom to choose, and at the same time, encourages his people to follow his example.  In the second reading, St. Paul compares Christ and the Church to a husband and wife, and says that a husband and wife must constantly choose each other.  Wives must give themselves completely to their husbands, and husbands must give themselves completely to their wives.  That, as many of you know, is a difficult, and an ongoing choice.  And in the gospel, some of Jesus’ disciples make the choice to leave his company.  For the last number of weeks, as you all know, we’ve heard Jesus in the Gospel declare “I Am the Bread of Life” and that anyone who eats this bread will live forever.  All of Jesus’ talk about coming from the Father and being the Bread of Life was just too much for some of the disciples to swallow.  Some of Jesus’ disciples left, and he says to the ones who remain, “Do you also want to leave?”  The choice was theirs.

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