Daily Email

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

A Hard Choice The Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

A Hard Choice

The Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

August 22, 2021

www.johnpredmoresj.com | predmore.blogspot.com

predmoresj@yahoo.com | 617.510.9673

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


Jesus and his disciples have an honest conversation about the hard saying he just made – the He is the Bread of Life and that we are to consume his flesh and drink his blood if we are to inherit eternal life. It is a scene in which you can easily imagine the emotions – the anxiety of the disciples, the rejection that Jesus faces from many people, and the hesitancy that even his closest friends might leave. For some people, it is too much. Finally, he can exhale as they profess that he is the one who has the words of eternal life. Even though the choice is hard, and we are not faced with the same choices, they decide to stay, even though they do not yet understand the Eucharist. 


Jesus is the heart of the Eucharist. Even though each of us bring a different worldview and shares different opinions about the faith, what unites us in the Mass is the Lord himself. From the Baroque and Gothic cathedrals of Europe to the barrios of Brazil, the house chapels in Indonesia, the makeshift village church in South Sudan, our mass has unity even though there is remarkable diversity of expression. I think of masses on coffee tables in rooms of the sick or dying, the folk masses with guitars and drums, the grand organs with majestic choirs, and services with the imprisoned, with orphans, or those with intellectual or emotional disabilities. Each mass has meaning that cannot be explained.


The beauty in our worship at mass is beyond comprehension. The smells and bells matter, the rubrics and form contribute to a good service, artful environmental décor and practiced choral songs help, worthwhile preaching is a gift, but it never replaces the mystery that we are drawn into – that we are asked by Christ if we want to join him in the dance that leads to eternal life. We seek beauty, and we get that in Christ’s faithfulness in the Eucharist. We search for meaning, and Christ reminds us that his presence is enough for us. 


As we come to communion today, let’s be mindful that across the world – in diverse languages and places, the mass is offered so that we may be one with Jesus, and in turn, one with others, especially those who think, act, and speak differently than us, but it is still the same Lord that unifies us and keeps us as loving people. It is both awesome and beautiful. We recognize our place of privilege as we have fundamentally made our choice. We said to Christ: We will go where you go, for you have the words of eternal life. 


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (1 Thessalonians 1) We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father.

Tuesday: (Revelation 21) “Come here. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It gleamed with the splendor of God.


Wednesday: (1 Thessalonians 2) You recall our toil and drudgery. Working night and day in order not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God.
You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers.


Thursday: (1 Thessalonians 3) What thanksgiving, then, can we render to God for you, for all the joy we feel on your account before our God? Night and day we pray beyond measure to see you in person and to remedy the deficiencies of your faith. 


Friday (1 Thessalonians 4) We earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that,
as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God–and as you are conducting yourselves–you do so even more.


Saturday (1 Thessalonians 4) Nevertheless we urge you, brothers and sisters, to progress even more, and to aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you. 



Monday: (Matthew 23) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves. 


Tuesday: (John 1) Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” But Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” 


Wednesday (Matthew 23) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.


Thursday (Matthew 24) Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. 


Friday (Matthew 25) While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’  


Saturday (Matthew 25) A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–to each according to his ability. Then he went away.


Saints of the Week


August 22: The Queenship of Mary concludes the octave of the principal feast of Mary as she celebrates her installation as queen and mother of all creation. This feast was placed on our calendar in 1954 following the dogmatic proclamation of the Assumption. 


August 23: Rose of Lima (1586-1617) was the first canonized saint of the New World. She had Spanish immigrant parents in Lima. Rose joined the Dominicans and lived in her parents' garden to support them while she took care of the sick and the poor. As a girl, she had many mystical experiences as she practiced an austere life. She also had many periods of darkness and desolation.


August 24: Bartholomew (First Century), according to the Acts of the Apostles, is listed as one of the Twelve Disciples though no one for sure knows who he is. Some associate him with Philip, though other Gospel accounts contradict this point. John's Gospel refers to him as Nathaniel - a Israelite without guile.


August 25: Louis of France (1214-1270) became king at age 12, but did not take over leadership until ten years later. He had eleven children with his wife, Marguerite, and his kingship reigned for 44 years. His rule ushered in a longstanding peace and prosperity for the nation.  He is held up as a paragon of medieval Christian kings.


August 25: Joseph Calasanz, priest (1556-1648), was a Spaniard who studied canon law and theology. He resigned his post as diocesan vicar-general to go to Rome to live as a pilgrim and serve the sick and the dying. He used his inheritance to set up free schools for poor families with children. He founded an order to administer the schools, but dissension and power struggles led to its dissolution.


August 27: Monica (332-387) was born a Christian in North Africa and was married to a non-Christian, Patricius, with whom she had three children, the most famous being Augustine. Her husband became a Christian at her urging and she prayed for Augustine's conversion as well from his newly adopted Manichaeism. Monica met Augustine in Milan where he was baptized by Bishop Ambrose. She died on the return trip as her work was complete.


August 28: Augustine, bishop and doctor (354-430),  was the author of his Confessions, his spiritual autobiography, and The City of God, which described the life of faith in relation to the life of the temporal world. Many other writings, sermons, and treatises earned him the title Doctor of the church. In his formative years, he followed Mani, a Persian prophet who tried to explain the problem of evil in the world. His mother’s prayers and Ambrose’s preaching helped him convert to Christianity. Baptized in 387, Monica died a year later. He was ordained and five years later named bishop of Hippo and defended the church against three major heresies: Manichaeism, Donatism, and Pelagianism.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • August 22, 1872: Jesuits were expelled from Germany during the Bismarckian Kulturkampf. 
  • August 23, 1558: In the First General Congregation, the question was discussed about the General's office being triennial, and the introduction of Choir, as proposed by Pope Paul IV, and it was decreed that the Constitutions ought to remain unaltered. 
  • August 24, 1544: Peter Faber arrived in Lisbon. 
  • August 25, 1666: At Beijing, the death of Fr. John Adam Schall. By his profound knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, he attained such fame that the Emperor entrusted to him the reform of the Chinese calendar. 
  • August 26, 1562: The return of Fr. Diego Laynez from France to Trent, the Fathers of the Council desiring to hear him speak on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 
  • August 27, 1679: The martyrdom at Usk, England, of St. David Lewis, apostle to the poor in his native Wales for three decades before he was caught and hanged. 
  • August 28, 1628: The martyrdom in Lancashire, England, of St. Edmund Arrowsmith.


No comments:

Post a Comment