August 22, 2021 - 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”
Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b
by Sr. Maureen Niedermeyer, OSB
Life is full of decisions, some very important and many not so important. In our first reading Joshua poses a question that the people must answer and that holds great consequences for them: Whose god will they serve? Before they answer, he affirms his own faithfulness to God. “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” What a powerful proclamation! Was there ever a time when you felt God calling you to love and serve Him with new zeal? How did you respond? The people choose to follow the God of their ancestors and with grateful hearts they said, “Therefore, we also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.” Daily we also have to choose to put God first in our lives or to follow our selfish and stubborn ways.
St. Paul writes about marital relations, but what he says applies to all our relationships. Partners learn to trust that each will respect the other’s freedom and individuality. This is how God loves us. No matter what our vocation is, we know how difficult it can be to put another’s interests before our own, to be compassionate and generous with our time. Putting hurts behind us, and forgiving and seeking what is best for another can only be accomplished by the indwelling power of Christ. The result of our caring brings gratitude and joy. When was the last time we said thank you to God and to someone we love?
How sad Jesus must have been when some of his disciples walked away from him because they could not accept his teachings. Can you remember a time when you disregarded one of Jesus’ teachings and walked away from him? You found no joy in following your own will. Instead, let us listen to Peter’s proclamation of faith. “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” May the power of the Spirit of God enliven us to follow Christ no matter what He asks of us.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“No one is to pursue what he/she judges better for himself/herself but instead what he/she judges better for someone else.” Chapter 72:7
“Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life.” John 6:63c, 68c