Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 22, 2021
Very few times in life do we get to make a definitive choice for our faith. At a celebration of Confirmation I once heard the bishop ask those being confirmed to answer a definite “Easter yes” to the renewal of their baptismal vows. The loud, rousing response shook the church and vibrated those who heard it! A definite moment of public choice.
Today we conclude our five-week look at the sixth chapter of John, where Jesus is portrayed as the “Bread of Life.” In today’s liturgy Jesus’ followers are offered a choice to accept or reject that definition. Our First Reading is also a scene of choice. Joshua gathers the tribes of Israel at the shrine of Shechem. He asks the people: Whom will they serve? Remembering all that God has done for them, the people choose to serve the Lord.
In the Gospel, Jesus confronts his disciples with a choice. Some cannot accept him as “the living bread come down from heaven.” Peter responds for the Twelve: Jesus has “the words of eternal life” for them. They have come to believe that he is “the Holy One of God.”
How about us? Can we make a public choice for Jesus as we approach to receive the Body and Blood of Christ? Our firm, faith-filled “Amen” is a response to the Lord who is present in this great sign of our salvation.