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Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

August 27, A.D. 2006

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b
Psalm 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21
Ephesians 5:21-32 or 5:2a, 25-32
John 6:60-69

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

Life is made up of “rituals,” whether it’s a handshake, a birthday party, or a renewal of marriage vows. Rituals strengthen relationships, show respect for one another’s “milestones” along life’s journey, and help us to be faithful to promises made long ago.

In today’s first reading from Joshua, the great leader assembles all the people he has brought into the promised land of Canaan. The place is Shechem, a shrine sacred to the foreigners they have conquered. Joshua gives a speech, reminding the people of all that God did for them in their desert journey with Moses. Then, he gives them a choice: either to be faithful to the God of Israel, or to adopt the Canaanite gods in whose land they now live. He then utters a great line, As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord! Fortunately, the people agree, and even invite some of their pagan neighbors to make a similar commitment. After that, Joshua draws up a new Covenant with the Lord.

The second reading describes how a Christian must act within the marriage covenant. Now, this reading can make women angry (wives, be subordinate to your husbands). But look at the verse just before that one! Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ! In other words, both husband and wife must serve each other. A later admonition to the husband requires him to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. Recall that Christ said that He came “to serve and not be served” (Mark 10:45). Marriage is all about loving service of husband and wife to one another, and both to the service of Christ.

Very much like the Israelites at Shechem, the Apostles in today’s Gospel pledge total commitment to the Holy One of God. When others refuse to believe the teaching about Jesus as the Bread of Life, Peter, speaking for his brothers, said very simply, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life.”

So, let’s get in the spirit of God’s Word today--to renew our commitment to our baptismal covenant, our marriage covenant, and to Jesus, present in Word and Eucharist.

Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(pwhitmore29 at yahoo dot com)

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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