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Sunday, August 24, 1997

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21st Sunday Ordinary Time

Joshua 24:1-2, 15-17, 18
Psalm 34
Ephesians 5:21-32
John 6:60-69

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"a life of faith" (gal 2:20)

"Does it shake your faith?" —John 6:61

When Jesus talks about His eucharistic presence, people exclaim: "This sort of talk is hard to endure! How can anyone take it seriously?" (Jn 6:60) However, Jesus refuses to re-phrase the revelation of His eucharistic presence. He insists that the issue is not His words but our faith in His words (see Jn 6:61). He challenges us not to think about His words merely with our human capabilities, for "the flesh is useless" (Jn 6:63) and His words "are spirit and life" (Jn 6:63).

Faith in Jesus' eucharistic presence is a matter of hearing God's word in the light of the Spirit, for faith comes through hearing and hearing through the word of God (Rm 10:17). Thus, Peter responded to Jesus' challenge to believe by saying: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (Jn 6:68). We believe in Jesus' eucharistic presence because we have faith in what we have heard (see Gal 3:5) and in Jesus Who is speaking.

When we walk by God's word and not by sight, then we walk by faith (see 2 Cor 5:7). If we walk by sight, we walk away from Jesus (see Jn 6:66). If we walk by faith, we walk with Jesus. Don't live by what you see but by faith in Jesus, the Word.

Prayer:  Father, my sight makes me susceptible to optical illusions. By Your word, protect me from being deceived.

Promise:  "As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." —Jos 24:15

Praise:  Alleluia! The tomb is empty! The stone is rolled away! Jesus is risen! Alleluia!

Reference:  (As an aid to living in faith and growing in prayer, order our book, Conversion- Conversations.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997