Home Community Sunday Gospel Thoughts August 22, 2021, Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

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    Read the Gospel Passage slowly and prayerfully, perhaps several times over a few days.

    Let the Story speak to you in your own life, and don’t try to force a meaning, eg, the Story has always meant only such-and-such.

    Ask “What are you trying to say to me?” in your own life here and now, with whatever is going on in your life.

    Be ready to be surprised.

    If you feel comfortable please write your thoughts as a reply using the “submit” button below.

    Gospel Jn 6:60-69
    Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said,
    “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
    Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
    he said to them, “Does this shock you?
    What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending
    to where he was before?
    It is the spirit that gives life,
    while the flesh is of no avail.
    The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
    But there are some of you who do not believe.”
    Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
    and the one who would betray him.
    And he said,
    “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
    unless it is granted him by my Father.”
    As a result of this,
    many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
    and no longer accompanied him.
    Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
    Simon Peter answered him, “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.”

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by Phrogge.

    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.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by Phrogge.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by Phrogge.
    Steve Karthan

    Love?!? You!

    Sherri Buck

    It’s funny how different things stand out to different people. The one thing that I’ve known forever, was taught it over and over about how the apostles were chosen. But reading the phrase “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” It continues to talk how Jesus knew who would stay or leave and knew His betrayer.

    I guess the realization hit me that indeed, while Jesus spoke, taught and prayed with everyone, he knew not everyone was a believer, maybe they didn’t agree with what he said. Yet, He continued to teach, and pray with them and for them.

    Knowing all the while that there was somebody there that would eventually betray Him. But, the Father allowed it. Brought this “betrayer” among all of apostles with Him. Not once did He stop what He was doing saying in spite of knowing Judas would betray Him. The thing that struck me is that while he did betray Jesus, He may have believed all He was saying and doing. Similar to us as we “betray” Jesus when we are sinning. Doesn’t mean we don’t believe, just that we made a bad choice. God still allows us to be with Jesus. He allowed all those non believers to “be” with Jesus, until they chose not to be.

    For me the choice is simple! The actions maybe not so simple, as I know I am far from perfect. I continue to believe and ask for forgiveness and know God welcomes me back just as Jesus does.


    Each of us sees God, or has an image of God, in our own way. Whatever our image is, it is not God, but is our attempt to know God in our own story, our own everyday life. It is the only place we can be, and the only place we can take the next step on our journey in God. The Spirit would lead us well beyond our comfort zones if we let Her do it, and at times this really can be difficult. God doesn’t change, but our insight into and awareness of God does change, if we take the chance and let it.

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