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Sunday, August 26, 2012

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21st Sunday Ordinary Time

Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18
Ephesians 5:21-32
Psalm 34:2-3, 16-21
John 6:60-69

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"How can anyone take it seriously?" —John 6:60

Jesus called Himself the Bread come down from heaven (Jn 6:33). He said His flesh was real food and His blood real drink (Jn 6:55). "Many of His disciples remarked, 'This sort of talk is hard to endure! How can anyone take it seriously?' " (Jn 6:60)

It's hard to "endure" the words of Jesus and to take them seriously (Jn 6:60). This applies not only to Jesus' words on the Eucharist, but also to His words on many other things. For example, His word commands wives to "be submissive to their husbands as if to the Lord" and husbands to love their wives by giving themselves up for them (Eph 5:22, 25). This kind of talk is hard to endure. Few people, even Christians, take it seriously.

This kind of talk seems absurd, for it is the message of the cross (1 Cor 1:18), and people tend not to take seriously what they think is absurd. Therefore, they don't take Jesus seriously, since He often speaks of nothing but the absurdity of the cross (see 1 Cor 2:2). Only by embracing the cross will we take Christ seriously.

Prayer:  Father, may I take Jesus' words so seriously that I know, live, and share them.

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

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Lord of compassion. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves" (Ps 34:19).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our book, Living in Reality, or on audio AV 38-1, AV 38-3, AV 39-1, AV 39-3 or on video starting with V-38.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 30, 2012

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