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Twnety-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s theme is commitment. Joshua asked the Israelites to make a choice between the God who brought them out of Egypt or the gods of their neighbours. It is easy to look on “gods” as belonging to the paganism of long ago but they are alive and well today: they take the form of money, power, status, appearance, possessions, success and other worldly vanities used for selfish ends.

John gives a detailed account of the theology of the eucharist in chapter 6 of his gospel. The parable of the sower (Matt. 13:1-23) becomes very relevant here. Many people followed Jesus maybe out of curiosity or for other superficial reasons but were not prepared to engage at a more intimate level with him and accept the wonderful gift he was offering. They could not see beyond the man whose family they knew.

The disciples had realised,, after knowing Jesus and loving him, that there was nowhere else to go. In the weekday readings we have heard the story of Ruth, who took a leap of faith in following the mother-in-law whom she loved, accepting her country, her people and her God as her own. God was then able to use this goodness so that the Moabite exile became the great-grandmother of King David and therefore the ancestress of Our Lord. How much more can God work in us when we commit ourselves fully to Jesus in the Eucharist?