Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jos 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b Eph 5:21-32 Eph 5:2a, 25-32 Jn 6:60-69
The three readings of this day present a the intertwined theme. Joshua challenges the Israelites to either accept YHWH or the gods of the Amorites . In the letters to the Ephesians Paul challenges wives to be obedient and subordinate to their husbands and that husbands shall love their wives. Johns gospel concerns the reaction of Jesus disciples to his message of eat my flesh, drink my blood. Certainly each presents a challenge, each presents conflict, each involves a discipleship. In the Israelites listening to Joshua he asks that they commit to their God though it places challenges on them as they live amongst those who worship differently; they are asked to make a leap in faith. For the married individuals, the wife first is asked to make a gigantic leap. Subordinate and obedient is undoubtedly a challenge within a commitment. Jesus too challenges his disciples in his statement of eat my flesh and drink my blood. In each situation people are asked to accept a challenge and commit themselves in faith.Faith to God and Faith to each other. In Jesus statements to the crowds that listened to him, his statements were shocking, they were radically different and they challenged their beliefs. Some were unable to take a leap of faith and continue on their Journey with Christ; yet Christ demanded that his disciples break with their traditions and follow a new path. It is the same challenge that is presented to the married couple, and to the Israelites by Joshua. In discipleship and in Faith challenge and conflict are part of that journey, overcoming them leads to the rewards of that new journey.