Should I Stay Or Leave?

Should I Stay Or Leave?

August 26, 2018 | N W | Commitment, Eternal Life, Faith, Father Salvador, Hope, Self-Reflection, Trust

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 26, 2018 – Year B
Readings: Jos 24:1-2A, 15-17, 18B / Ps 34 / Eph 5:21-32 / Jn 6:60-69
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

Every day of our lives we make decisions. It could be as simple as deciding whether to eat a bagel or a muffin for breakfast, to drink tea or coffee. But some decision-making is more complicated than others. Those decisions may even cause you a sleepless night, like for instance, deciding whether to accept a job offer which would require you to move to another state or perhaps even another country, but with a promise of higher pay and a greater chance of promotion. Or you may just continue doing the same job you currently have where you experience the comfort and joy of being surrounded always by longtime friends. Perhaps you are trying to decide where you will be spending the rest of your retirement years.

Some decisions may be about our spiritual life. Are we going to continue doing things that only give us temporary happiness or focus on those that will grant us eternal joy? Any question that involves our faith and relationship with our God is definitely of paramount importance.

In the first reading, we heard Joshua posing this challenge to all the tribes of Israel: “Decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the river or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” It is beyond doubt that Joshua made the right decision and he was protected by the Lord God all his life.

In the gospel that we have just heard, the people who had been following the Lord Jesus and listening to His words left, because they could not accept the teaching that they were being asked to eat the body of the Lord and drink His blood. Jesus then posed a question to His disciples: “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

That was Peter’s way of saying, Lord who could give us a better offer? You cannot only make the blind see, the lame walk, lepers cleansed, but you can even raise the dead back to life. You could not only multiply the loaves and feed the multitude, but you can even forgive our sins and give us a fresh start to experience life in all its fullness here on earth. Only you can offer us eternal happiness in heaven. I may not be able to understand how you are going to give us your flesh to eat and blood to drink, but I am not going anywhere. I’ll stick with you. It is beyond doubt that Peter made the right decision.

Many of us here must have faced similar situations in the past. Like Joshua and St. Peter, we continually make a choice: Are we going to do the things that will lead us closer to God or take the risk of doing something that will take us farther away from Him? The fact that we are all here inside the church of Holy Name of Mary in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, goes to show that this morning we made the right decision. We said yes to God’s invitation. The lives of the prophets and saints who have gone before us tell us that God does not disappoint. He has always been there for His people and He will always be there for us, as He promised.

We are once again at a stage in our Church history where our faith might be shaken by what is going on in our Church in other parts of the country and in the world. Many Catholics are perhaps asking themselves: Are we going to stay or leave? May the Holy Spirit continue to give us enlightenment and grace as He has given us today: to follow St. Peter’s example until we give our last breath and enter into everlasting life.

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