Home › Community › Sunday Gospel Thoughts › August 22, 2021, Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time › Reply To: August 22, 2021, Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospel speaks to us through the filter of, or in the setting of, whatever is going on in our life when we red or hear it.
In the Story the people were having trouble believing in what Jesus was saying because what he was saying did not fit in with the way they saw things. His words were a threat to their own comfort and convenience.
Among the things going on in our lives this week is the unfolding tragedy in Afghanistan. In varying ways most of us are concerned about this for any number of reasons. Very few of us have any skin in the game. We feel free to criticize anybody based on our own personal feelings, political affiliations, or whatever. It’s mostly a theoretical operation. The folks involved in all sides over there are created in the image and likeness of God just as we are. How Jesus lived and what he taught should make us at least a bit uneasy. “It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.” The Gospel is not concerned with our political notions or our own comfort. It is concerned with what we are called to do, which we find out in prayer.
The people in the Story did not want to be taken out of their comfort and convenience. Most times I’m not sure I want to either. I like thinking I know, and most times it’s easier to think than to take action. It bothers me when I don’t know. While I talk about open trust, I find it very hard to live this way. As I get older I find I am protective of my own comfort and convenience, probably much too much. I’m still trying to figure out what it means for me to live as a disciple of Christ.
I was at dinner with some wonderful folks last evening — a Viet Nam Veteran, his wonderfully amazing wife, and a survivor of catholic schools. We had some stimulating discussion along with great food. We all had our differing views of the Gospel and “Life Force” which were much more alike than different. My question is what is the Spirit trying to teach me in all this.
I don’t think I’d walk away, except from the silliness and meanness of the institutional system, and I think and hope that I’ve left that part of it already. I really believe “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” I’d just like to know what those words are and what they mean for me at this time of my life.